The race is on … the one where those fighting for a four-year stint in the White House see who can promise the most freebees to voters.
On one side we have Hillary Clinton who has dangled higher minimum wages in front of supporters. And most recently, she pledged to reform capital gains taxation to fight those evil fat cats who make quick profits in the markets.
Will those moves benefit Americans and the U.S. economy? Who cares! Voters only need to think they’ll get something for nothing.
Not to be out done, the Republican-controlled Senate pulled a rabbit out of their hat on Tuesday by passing a package of more than 50 tax extenders.
The majority of voters couldn’t give a hoot about most of the extensions, such as:
- Special rules for certain film television productions
- Indian employment tax credit
- Three-year depreciation for racehorses
However, there is one that is surely aimed at buying votes: Mortgage debt relief.
Currently, taxpayers who have mortgage debt canceled or forgiven may be required to declare that amount as taxable income. So those who walked away from a mortgage or had their home sold in a short-sale could be on the hook to the IRS for a healthy chunk of money.
The Senate’s provision will allow up to $2 million of forgiven debt to be excluded from taxable income through the tax year 2016.
Sweet deal for many who were conned by a slick banker, made a lousy decision, or had a streak of bad luck.
But like all giveaways, someone pays the price. And as usual that one will fall on the shoulders of the rest of us taxpayers to the tune of $5.122 billion.
And if you haven’t received your giveaway yet, be patient. The season has just begun.