For years it has been an accepted maxim that real estate ownership was really the only reasonable investment for middle-class Americans. It provided a place called home where you could raise your family, plus a healthy appreciating investment you could rely on to provide funds for a decent retirement.This benefit was also duly recognized in our federal tax code that provided generous, unlimited deductions for real estate taxes and mortgage interest.
This 100 percent Republican-sponsored tax bill, by limiting real estate tax and mortgage interest deductions andrepealingall deductions for home equity loans, promises to do great damage to our nation’s real estate market, the last remaining haven for middle class prosperity.Furthermore, the $10,000 limit on real estate taxesincludesall other state and local taxes, which will serve to gut the economies in high tax states such as New York and California, no coincidence, states which vote Democratic.
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Here at home, such arbitrary limits on state and local taxes will help gut the economies of Chicago collar counties such as DuPage and Kane and many other prosperous middle-class counties that rely on property taxes to fund essential services such as education.
Those living in red states might rejoice at California’s loss of the real estate and state tax deduction but they should stop and ponder this fact:California is the sixth largest economy in theworld.You cannot gut the California economy without a massive economic ripple effect on the country and the world.
So, to deliver a giant Christmas present to wealthy Trump-like families and prosperous major corporations, Republicans are willing to kill the last remaining hope for the American middle class — its real estate market. How sad, when it could have been so different.
Ken Kramer, Glen Ellyn
Mass murders are increasing. The power of the NRA is terribly strong. We’ve all heard their rebuttal, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” But, how much more additional violence can a person with an automatic weapon inflict upon innocent people?
Think about the helpless vulnerability of students and teachers during the Texas schoolhouse massacre. Remember those murders and in the past on college campuses, in entertainment venues, houses of worship, and places of business by disgruntled employees. When have you watched a newscast without hearing about violent shooting deaths? Yes, people have the right to bear arms (albeit it for purposes of defending their personal property), but why should persons other than law enforcement and the military be allowed to bear automatic or semi-automatic weapons? Hunters don’t need them, I don’t need them, and neither do you.
Thank the NRA and its lobbyists that such weaponry is available to the general public in gun stores all across our country. It is past time to discontinue this malfeasance of our constitutional rights.
James W. Rex, McHenry
Voting against Illinois
Why did Republicans from Illinois in Congress vote to pass the tax bill? People from high-tax states like New York and California had their Republican representatives in Congress vote for their state — not their party! It should be pointed out that Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Darin LaHood, Rodney Davis, John Shimkus and Mike Bost seemingly care only about themselves and their ability to be funded by their campaign benefactors, and little for the people that this bill will hurt most.
Definitely an example of party over the people of their state.
Scott R. Zuhr, Park Ridge
Victor Darst, Huntley