The news columns of the New York Times, borrowing a dull rhetorical knife from the drawer of Senator Schumer, are describing the tax bill recently passed by the Senate as "an economic dagger aimed at high-tax, high-cost and generally Democratic-leaning areas — most notably New York City and its neighbors."
What's the risk? The Times explains, "The bill, if enacted into law, could send home prices tumbling 10 percent or more in parts of the New York area, according to one economic analysis."
Also, the Times says:
local politicians could find it harder to raise taxes to pay for services. Mr. de Blasio, for example, has called for a tax on millionaires to help fix the city's subway system. Mr. Murphy, the New Jersey governor-elect, wants a similar tax for public schools.
Without the state and local tax deduction, those plans could face more opposition.
These are two separate issues associated with the treatment of the home mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction in the Senate bill.
On the home price issue, the Times is constantly complaining about the lack of affordable housing in the New York City area, highlighting how it forces workers into long commutes and discourages job creation. Yet somehow, rather than seeing the potential of lower home prices as a positive development that will make housing more affordable to those currently renting or living somewhere else cheaper, the Times sees it as a "dagger." If the politicians in Washington proposed an "affordable housing" subsidy spending program to help working families who are renting with a down payment by providing a 10% tax credit on the cost of a new home, the Times would probably cheer it on. Yet because this is part of an overall tax cut bill, the Times finds a way to complain about it.
On the state and local tax deduction issue, leave it to the Times to write a front-page news article describing something that will make it harder to increase New York's already ridiculously high taxes as a "dagger." Maybe the Times is right. But there's another view of it, which is that instead of a dagger, this bill is a life preserver, something that will save New York and New Jersey residents from politicians who otherwise would happily keep raising taxes that are already high.
I moved out of New York City in early 2013, in part because the housing and tax costs there were higher than in the place I ended up moving to. If the federal tax bill winds up creating political pressure to lower the city's tax and housing costs, that might not be such a bad thing.