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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

 10:20 AM 

Feingold hits Johnson on mortgage interest deduction

Russ Feingold went after Ron Johnson Monday for saying he'd be willing to “horse trade” home mortgage interest tax deductions for other tax changes.

Johnson spokeswoman Sara Sendek said the candidate's comments on the interest deduction are being misconstrued. Johnson made the comments in an interview with Madison TV station WKOW, in which he said he was willing to look at any proposals that would lower taxes and simplify the tax code.

“The mortgage interest deduction is absolutely essential for Wisconsin families,” Feingold said at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon. “That would be a very serious tax increase that would put even more people out of their homes.”

The incumbent Dem U.S. senator said the deductions help the middle class and that the Oshkosh millionaire businessman would instead give tax breaks to the wealthy.

“What he's most likely to do, of course, is to horse trade it, get rid of it for middle class people for lower taxes for people like himself,” he said in a follow-up with reporters afterward.

Sendek responded that Johnson never said he would repeal the deduction.

“Ron supports home mortgage interest tax deductions and has always done so," she said. "What he is in favor of is simplifying our tax code. Ron has expressed a willingness to look at the options in order to reduce the tax burden and simplify our tax code.”

See more in Monday's PM Update.


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