Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Grassley on Estate Tax: Tax Code Shouldn't 'Penalize Frugality'

Grassley on Estate Tax: Tax Code Shouldn't 'Penalize Frugality'

Chuck Grassley is defending GOP efforts to reduce the hit to the wealthy from the federal estate tax because it helps those who invest rather than people who spend their money on "booze or women or movies".

A Republican Senator says his comments about people spending "every darn penny" they earn on "booze or women or movies" are being misinterpreted.

According to the Des Moines Register, Grassley said an estate tax repeal would help "the people that are investing". Heirs would inherit the estates tax-free.

Grassley's comments have been criticized by many, including Progress Iowa, which called on the senator to apologize. Many complained that the working class is, in fact, spending "every darn penny" on raising their kids, caring for elderly parents, health care and putting food on the table.

President Donald Trump is working with Republican legislators to hammer out House Senate differences in a tax code overhaul bill that could eliminate what the GOP calls the'death tax
Grassley: Tax Bill Favors 'Savers,' Not Those Spending On 'Booze Or Women'

Twitter users have been responding to Grassley's remarks. The Register's report pointed out that the estate tax is a "40 percent tax on wealth assessed when a person dies, and now is applied to assets above $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for couples". Before being fully repealed, the estate tax exemption will double.

The estate tax, often derided as the "death tax", is a 40-percent tax on the wealth of a person after he or she dies. Only a fraction of those were farmers or small business owners, the newspaper reported. The House measure would eliminate the tax on all estates of any size by 2024.

Currently, only.2 percent of Americans pay estate tax and will benefit from the changes. The report said that the death tax likely affects a few dozen farms and a few dozen small businesses across the entire USA, yet generates tens of billions in revenue, annually.

The Senate Judiciary committee chairman - whose own assets are worth millions and could be taxed in some circumstances under the previous estate tax - said the law overwhelms small business owners and family-owned farms, who are "forced into spending large sums of their hard-earned dollars on lawyers and accountants to avoid its impact instead of reinvesting in their business", causing a negative impact on overall investments.

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