I agree with Will Wilkinson agreeing with Ezra Klein agreeing with Ed Glaeser: the mortgage interest subsidy ought to go. It's regressive, inefficient, and drives up the price and size of American homes without doing much good for our rates of homeownership--Canada, which has no deduction, does just fine at getting people into their very own abodes.
Will hopes that this represents the kind of good policy a liberaltarian can get behind:
Here's something, like trashing ag subsidies, you can get a lot of libertarians and liberals to agree on. It can be a bit disheartening to see just how little this kind of agreement amounts to when compared to the incentives of the politicans. (Iowa's extremely powerful Senators will die in the last ditch for our subsidies.) But I think this kind of wonk consensus building really matters over the medium-term. Democracy is not a mechanical cui bono machine and elite opinion can, when not coopted by the incentives of the parties, work as a countervailing force.
I hope he's right. But I notice something: what do Will and Ezra and I (and for all I know, Ed Glaeser) have in common? That's right--none of us own homes. And in the immortal words of Upton Sinclair, it's difficult to make a man understand something when his
paycheck tax refund depends on his not understanding it.