GOP Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa has been pushing the new GOP tax plan on his constituents. Iowa is farm country and Grassley has been spreading the notion that the estate tax, also known as the death tax, would be devastating to many farmers in the state. He co-sponsored the bill to eliminate it. Grassley, who owns some land of his own describes himself as a farmer from time to time. He has a small farm production he runs with his two sons.
Grassley has been claiming that many farmers in Iowa would be faced with shutting down their farms in order to pay their estate taxes. However, Kristine Tidgren, the assistant director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University said that simply is not the case. She said that she is unaware of any Iowa estates forced to sell land since the estate tax exemption was raised to its current level back in 2012. She went on to say,
I haven’t come across any examples of an Iowa family that had to sell the farm to pay the estate tax. I don’t think the current estate tax system threatens family farmers.
Even though Grassley admitted that the current estate tax does not affect his operations, he still tried to use a sound philosophical approach for the necessity of a tax that generates tens of billions of dollars for the US annually. He failed miserably. He argued that it penalizes owners twice, once when inheriting the land and once when dying.
He went on to argue that the tax penalizes savers instead of spenders. He elaborated,
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
So, to break it down: those who do not invest, the working class, spend all their money on booze and women. They are unworthy of any type of tax cuts. The fact is that the working class does spend all their money: when they get a tax break they get caught up on bills, they stock their freezers, and they have financial security for another month or two. They put their tax cuts back into the economy.
This is not a case of who is more deserving based on “morals”, this is another case of Republicans supporting the rich, no matter how morally bankrupt.