LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: This is an illusion, of course. We are not the rugged individualists we think we are. After getting an education paid for by the government, if we live long enough, we all get retirement income from the government and health care paid for by the government. That is a very healthy dose of good old-fashioned socialism, but we remain the country that pretends to hate socialism. Homeowners and the entire real estate industry float on a massive government subsidy written into the tax code called the mortgage deduction. The federal government gives millionaires and billionaires tens of thousands of dollars a year to pay, $50,000, to pay for their housing, a subsidy that none of them need, and yet our rugged individualist self-image continues.
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