Have Republicans abandoned the ownership society?

Conservatives frequently talk about creating a tax code that doesn’t pick “winners and losers” among industries, but that economic philosophy just as often takes a back seat to campaign politics and the influence of donors. “This is consistent with the Republican view on the economy,” said Stephen Oliner of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, “which is that the government should not really be in the business of directing how people choose to spend their money and that home ownership is one of those nudges that the tax code is doing.” Conservatives like Oliner also doubt the efficacy of the mortgage-interest deduction, which has roots in the U.S. tax code dating back more than a century. They argue it’s already built into the price of a home and artificially inflates the market.

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