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Grassley Criticized for Colorful Estate Tax Comments
06 December 2017, 09:01 | Israel Caldwell
Image via Getty
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks with reporters ahead of the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. November 14, 2017. Grassley argued in an interview with the Des MoinesRegister that repealing the tax is beneficial even if it only affects relatively few Americans.
A Republican senator who said attempts to scale back or eliminate the estate tax recognized "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" has attempted to clarify his meaning.
Jon Cooper, the chairman of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted, "GOP Sen".
Senator Charles Grassley now says his words in support of cutting the estate tax are being misinterpreted after he was attacked online over the weekend. 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.
The future of the estate tax is one of the key differences between the House and Senate tax reform bills that will need to be reconciled in a joint committee. The senator, in his eagerness to defend the GOP tax reform plan, said that repealing the estate tax would reward Americans who spend their money wisely.
As GOP lawmaker-turned-Fox News pundit Chaffetz said, "Americans have choices" - and, in Grassley's mind, the choice most Americans are making is spending all their cash on prostitutes and Jack Daniels instead of being fiscally responsible investors. The report said that the death tax likely affects a few dozen farms and a few dozen small businesses across the entire US, yet generates tens of billions in revenue, annually. Senate Republicans voted 51-49 to pass a $1.4 trillion tax bill early Saturday.
Grassley said he wanted to ensure the tax code was as fair for "family farmers who have to break up their operations to pay the [Internal Revenue Service] following the death of a loved one as it is for parents saving for their children's college education or working families investing and saving for their retirement".
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