I have been thinking about the mortgage interest deduction and have concluded that it's a sop to the middle class. While we're giving ourselves sops, why don't we lobby to have other aspects of the "American Dream" made tax deductible.
For example, what young bride wouldn't want a lavish Guinea Wedding, and what parents wouldn't want to throw them for their daughters? If the costs of a Guinea Wedding were tax deductible, families could afford to go even more over the top. Cocktail hour with all you can eat snow crab legs and an omelet bar, an eight course meal, a live band with an open bar, a Vienna Room and stretch limos for the whole wedding party would be available to more brides and grooms. The catering hall industry, dressmakers, and other folks who make their money on weddings would benefit mightily, so this could be a boon to the economy. Also, the tax code would be promoting marriage, wouldn't it?
Or how about the costs of education for the kids? If these were tax deductible, folks could afford to spend more, and schools could charge more and pay teachers better. What middle classer wouldn't want the best possible education for his or kids? It's the American Dream to give your kids a better life than you had.
Americans love dogs. Every household should have at least one dog. Dog ownership builds character and makes for better citizens. Dogs also deter crime. Let's make the costs of keeping dogs tax deductible! Hell, let's establish a tax credit for dog related expenditures. (I work from home a lot and keep confidential files there. I have dogs to protect the house; ergo, I should be able to write off their upkeep as a business expense. Mrs Vache Folle, CPA, disagrees, says it would invite an audit.)
Another aspect of the American Dream that the tax code overlooks is the maintenance of a healthy lawn. Shouldn't lawn care costs be deductible?