Everyone – even, at times, Gov. Mitt Romney – speaks glowingly of our middle class and how important it is to our system of government because it enables even the financially humble to aspire to a higher quality of life for them and their families.
The American middle class – once the most shining proof that this was indeed the land of opportunity -- was kicked for a loop by the criminal behavior of big banks and mortgage firms in a massive swindle which is apparently too big to fail.
The collapse of the housing market is especially bad for people whose only way to move up into the middle class was to buy a house, then save for the long term as the value of their home goes up.
Now the fickle, feckless bureaucracy known as Congress is on the verge of enacting a measure that would spell the end of the American dream, blaming such an action on the imperiling fiscal cliff.
Most real estate practitioner as well as realtors are infuriated that one measure under consideration in Washington might require the elimination of the tax deduction homebuyers receive as they annually deduct each year the interest of a long-term mortgage.
"Just do the math,” one barrister, a Republican, told us. "Someone, say a bus driver with a steady income, who bought a house 20 years ago was ultimately able to deduct tens of thousands dollars on mortgage interest. The house they bought for $60,000 is now probably worth six or seven hundred thousand dollars!" he stated.
This was and is just about the only way for people earning $40,000 or $50,000 a year in a steady, secure job to create their own pathway to comparative affluence.
Charles Otey's column appears each Monday in the print edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle