On the heels of the Republican tax plan’s passage through the Senate – which overwhelmingly favors the rich – Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) dug in his heels and emphasized his support for its millionaire-friendly provisions while slamming everyday Americans.
“I think 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,” Grassley said.
Grassley’s implication that those Americans who are not investing in the stock market are throwing their money away on some egregious display of alcoholism, prostitution, or flushing it down the toilet at the movies is not only mind-numbingly tone deaf, but also a testament to just how incredibly out of touch the Iowa Senator is with regular Americans.
While not all citizens have the means or access to simply drop superfluous thousands of dollars on investments, they may have enough to enjoy a drink at a bar or to catch a movie. Americans shouldn’t be derided for stimulating the local economies and enjoying their lives. In fact, the fact that Grassley would disparage what is effectively the backbone of trickle down economics goes to show just how loosely Republicans hold their own talking points.
Grassley’s condescending remarks come while defending the estate tax, which Republicans have erroneously claimed will help the working class. In actuality, the estate tax only applies to estates worth $5.45 million or more. Only 120 people filed estate tax returns in Iowa last year. There is nothing about repealing this tax that will ever help anyone other than the dynastic families who benefit from unearned income over the course of generations, further widening the already staggering class gap in this country.
Grassley’s comments about everyday Americans serve as a microcosm for the Republican agenda as a whole: take care of the ultra rich at the expense of those of us who can only enjoy a movie and a beer with our extra cash.