The arguments quoted in the question have always seemed to me silly beyond belief.
Fundamentally - there is no way to make money by throwing away money and using the tax system to get more money than you threw away.
To give a numerical example: if the taxpayer buys something for $1,000 - the absolutely best case scenario is that the tax system in which he operates allows a complete, 100% tax credit for the cost of purchase against tax liability with respect to income earned by that taxpayer during the same tax period. Again - credit, not deduction. And even in that best case scenario, the taxpayer just gets the $1,000 back from the tax authorities - not a net "gain".
In other cases, the best case scenario is that the taxpayer gets a 100% complete deduction for the cost of purchase against tax liability with respect to income earned by that taxpayer during the same tax period. So, assuming the effective tax rate for that period is 40%, the taxpayer gets back $400, and is still out of pocket $600. Definitely not a "gain".
And in most cases (and definitely with real estate, AFAIK), the taxpayer only gets to depreciate/amortize the cost of purchase over a number of years using a particular depreciation method provided by applicable tax law. So if the law provides, for example, for a 20% annual depreciation deduction and the same 40% tax rate is in effect, the tax benefit to the taxpayer is only $80; so out of pocket this time is $920. And to make matters worse - in many real estate tax depreciation systems, the taxpayer has to carve out the portion of the $1,000 purchase price attributable to the land underlying the structure, and that portion is not amortizable/depreciable. So the effective tax benefit is even (far) less than $80.
I would be more than happy to be educated on how someone can spend $1,000 and immediately get back $1,001 from the tax authorities. I know quite a few people who'll jump at the opportunity to do just that...