A top Clinton administration tax policy-maker in the Treasury Department opposes a House Ways and Means panel's tax proposal for mortgage points - which would hurt portfolio lenders - on highly unusual grounds: "pure economics."

After presenting the administration's position on a slew of miscellaneous revenue measures before the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, Leslie B. Samuels, Treasury's assistant secretary for tax policy, said his agency based its opposition to the panel's mortgage point tax approach on "pure economics."

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