When a man makes millions a year and pays a paltry tax of 13 percent and then demonizes people too poor or too old to pay any, who’s the “moocher?” Well, that’s easy, but besides the really rich, those of us who are in the middle class also get lots of breaks. The federal tax code offers tax deductions that support our comfort, while the budget delivers subsidies that underwrite the way we live. Some of these are obvious, some obscure and some buried so deep we don’t bother to count them.
Let’s start at home. Homeowners receive the “home mortgage interest deduction,” which costs the federal treasury $84 billion a year. That’s at least twice as much as the federal government spends on affordable housing for the poor and working poor. But that’s just the surface. As a working minister, although I received a relatively low salary,