Saturday, in defense of ending the estate tax, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said, “…not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing – as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze, or women, or movies.” Put aside the subtle sexism for a moment.
Sen. Grassley, how far removed are you, exactly, from the majority of your constituents’ reality? The estate tax, lovingly referred to as “death tax,” only applies to individuals whose net worth is more than $5.5 million dollars. The average household net worth in Iowa hovers around $400,000.
The implication that your constituents could easily have this type of wealth if they didn’t squander their money away on “booze, women and movies” is not only insolent, but inaccurate. I know many wonderful Iowans that work hard to support their families, are financially responsible and aren’t even approaching such a net worth. Many of us have student loans, medical bills and children, which require a lot of disposable income that could otherwise be invested.
Mr. Grassley, you could benefit from showing a little humility, and having more respect for the people who chose to re-elect you. I would say an apology is in order, but time will tell if you can be so gracious.