2012-11-27nytimes.com

The tax numbers suggest it may not be hard to structure deduction limits in a way that leaves most middle-income households untouched.

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There are a range of ways to increase tax revenue by aiming at higher earners, some less comprehensive than others. For instance, the interest deduction relating to second homes could be ended. Also, the cap on mortgage debt eligible for the interest rate deduction -- currently $1 million -- could be reduced.

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With the mortgage interest deduction, households realized tax savings of $83 billion in 2010, according to figures from the Reason Foundation. The bulk of those savings are enjoyed by the higher earners.


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