Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Senator Grassley Responds Following Backlash on Estate Tax Comments

Senator Grassley Responds Following Backlash on Estate Tax Comments

Still, GOP lawmakers should use caution when promoting their tax plan, for Democrats are eager to pounce on anything they can use to discredit the legislation. The House and Senate still have to reconcile the differences between their tax bills, and Grassley says they should have a bill on the president's desk before December 25.

A top Republican senator defending his party's tax overhaul efforts said lowering federal estate taxes would benefit investors instead of spenders who waste their money "on booze or women or movies". Heirs would inherit the estates tax-free.

Grassley's words were interpreted by many as a suggestion that average Americans don't deserve tax breaks because they misspend money, while wealthy Americans save their money.

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As for the people who are not "investing", Grassley slammed them for spending "every darn penny" on useless things. One Twitter user complained that the GOP was turning America into a version of "The Hunger Games". Then, after mulling it over a moment, he backtracked, noting that if he and his wife died on the same day the estate would be subject to the $5.5 million exemption rather than the $11 million exemption and likely would have to file an estate tax return.

Chuck Grassley made the comments late last week in an interview with the Des Moines Register. On the House side, lawmakers have proposed the tax be totally removed by 2024, while the Senate side wants to keep the death tax with the caveat that up to $11 million be labeled as tax-free - which is twice the number of where the charge now stands. The newspaper noted that the number of Iowans owing estate taxes was just 32 of 1.4 million taxpayers in 2012 - or.002 percent of the total. The House measure would eliminate the tax on all estates of any size by 2024. Only a fraction of those were farmers or small business owners, the newspaper reported. Young insisted in a newsletter Friday that it is a "myth" that "repealing the estate tax is a massive giveaway to the wealthiest Americans".

In a statement on Monday, Grassley, who is also a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, said his comments were misinterpreted.

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