Former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles is predicting that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would have to jettison the mortgage interest deduction in order to finance his proposal to reduce taxes.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television that is scheduled for broadcast tomorrow night, Bowles – who was co-chairman of President Obama's deficit-reduction commission – says that Romney is ‘partly right and partly wrong’ by promising to cut tax rates by 20% while simultaneously securing revenue through the curtailment of tax breaks, including the mortgage interest deduction.
‘It's just not enough money there in getting rid of the tax expenditures that only affect the upper-income people,’ says Bowles. ‘You're going to have to affect people down through the brackets.’
Romney has not officially made any campaign statement relating to the future of the mortgage interest deduction. In April, Romney told attendees at a private fundraising event in Palm Beach, Fla., that he would ‘probably eliminate for high-income people the second-home mortgage deduction,’ along with deductions for state income and property taxes. Journalists positioned outside of the event overheard the remarks and published them in news reports, and the Romney campaign subsequently claimed that the candidate was merely proposing options and not making campaign promises with his remarks.