After pretending for a brief moment in 2016 that the Republican Party stood for working people, the Republican-controlled Congress reverted back to trickle-down form on Friday when they passed a tax reform bill that overwhelmingly favored the rich. Not to be outdone, though, Senator Chuck Grassley made clear his disdain for those not benefiting under the new tax law.

“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 told the Register in a story posted yesterday.

It’s difficult to think of a more condescending, elitist worldview – that if you’re not ultra-wealthy, it’s clearly because you’re wasting all your money on alcohol, frivolous fun and prostitutes (I assume that’s what he meant when he said women). Certainly it couldn’t be because people are struggling to find decent-paying jobs, are straddled with debt from the college education they need to attain better jobs, or are paying outrageous sums for health insurance and medical bills. Nope, it must be because they’re all getting hand jobs from hookers in the back of a dark movie theater while downing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

That’s also an interesting assumption that perhaps only the men in a household make and spend money.

If Grassley wanted to make an ideological economic argument, he could have – that conservatives believe that money invested into businesses by the rich is what drives growth, not spending by consumers – without also needlessly maligning the working class. Because it takes a certain kind of arrogance to assume that every person who isn’t as rich as you are got that way because they’re lazy or dumb or wasteful in their spending habits.

In the same article, Jason Noble explained how the estate tax (which Republicans like to call the death tax) actually affects very few people in Iowa – only 120 people filed estate tax returns last year, just 44 of which owed any taxes. Data found that only 160 farm estates nationwide had to pay the tax in 2016. Still, Grassley for years has argued that the estate tax was destroying family farms even though the numbers simply do not back that assertion up.

The estate tax only applies to estates worth $5.45 million or more that is passed on to surviving family members. In reality, this mostly affects the wealthiest Americans and their fortunate heirs, many of which have plenty of tax advisers to figure out how to limit what gets taxed. But those are exactly the kinds of people who often end up as wealthy donors to Republicans, thus drawing the party’s focus to eliminate it for decades, despite the few well-off people it affects.

So, let this be yet another reminder to all those blue-collar workers in Iowa who voted for Republicans in droves last year: Republicans do not respect you, they only care about their rich friends and they turn their noses up at your small paycheck.

For a lot of working-class people, there is a sense that lazy people living down the street from them are mooching off the government (and hey, there are some bums out there), which draws them to Republicans’ policies. But here’s the thing: Republican elected officials see everyone in the working class as bums. They’re not making a distinction between you and some of the folks around you. They think all of you are worthless if you don’t have a multi-million dollar estate. That’s the Republican Party.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 12/3/17

If you enjoy our coverage of Iowa politics, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

105 thoughts on “Grassley Implies Working Class Spends Tax Cuts On “Booze Or Women Or Movies”

  1. Since I’m a woman does that mean I will spend my money on MEN, BOOZE and MOVIES. THINK ABOUT THAT CRACKERJACK GRASSLEY!

  2. It should be obvious now that Grassley has exceeded his ‘sell by’ date. He is ‘exhibit one’ of the need for Term Limits for Congress (and Governors too).

  3. Re Grassley,
    You never saw the jugglers and the clowns as they did their tricks for you. For heavens Grass get off the Grass and realize there ara a few things the working class can afford, to bring some sort of happiness to their lives is often just a can of beer, their girl friends and wife’s and a TV show and a movie or two. And just that may content them. Friends and family. They are not reaching beyond their limitations. Remember Grass the working man is worth his wage.

  4. Pat, best not to lump all Republicans in the same receptacle. It is basically an entirely different way of looking at things. Perhaps in the past the Pubs were as you said but now with the shift the elite now are the Dems who were once the party of the little guy. Why, just look at the rural folks who came out in droves to install the Trumpster at the helm. I really think you may have it all wrong. Take another look it is no longer the fifties and sixties here.

  5. Sen. Grassley,

    You should immediately submit your resignation. Your comment reveals how out of touch you are with the day-to-day realities of citizens in Iowa and across the United States. It is abundantly clear you are unfit to lead anything. Go home and count your millions.

  6. If so few people qualify for the estate tax, why so much opposition to it?? Why do you think so many family farms and businesses disappear? The estate taxes eat up their estate and they have to sell to pay the taxes. Also, does n’t he know that consumers are the ones that pay the business taxes, not the businesses? Or how can consumers buy if the price is too high because of the business taxes? Or what happens to local or stat economies when businesses move out of state, or overseas, because of business taxesl

  7. Chuck Grassley has been sucking up a govt paycheck since 1959, for 59 yrs! He was only 26, when he started in the Iowa House of Representatives, so his “experience” in the real world is both limited and so far out of date as to be inconsequential.

    Gas was 20¢ a gallon, movie tickets 50¢, a loaf of bread 20¢. A new car cost $2,200 (pickups ran $1,600), a new house was $8,000. The average worker made $5,000 a year. Almost 60 yrs later, those goods cost 15 to 25 times as much, but the average income has risen only 11 times as much, and that’s deceptive, because it’s artificially high due to the 5% who make 5 to 500 times as much.

    According to some sources, as many as 19% of the workforce makes less than the poverty level! Families struggle with the inflated costs of raising children; single parents work 2 and 3 jobs, to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

    Millionaire Grassley and his partners in crime in the republikan party don’t care. They shrug it off, to “lack of motivation” or “laziness”, but they’d be the loudest whiners, if everyone shared their unrestrained greed and disregard for the deleterious impact they’ve had on lives of ordinary people.

    This is the essential rot at the core of “republikanism”, the idea that “charging all the market will bear” should be unrestricted, untaxed and unfettered by fair competition. The “party of Lincoln” is a myth, one whose last standardbearer was Teddy Roosevelt, who left office 110 yrs ago, last month.

    Since then, the party has attracted those with lower standards, looser morals, shiftier characters, leading inevitably to Donald Trump. Donnie may have ridden the last gasp of racism into the White House, but Grassley is little better. He has voted with McConnell and the tea-billie lunatic fringe that is deconstructing a nation they had as much chance of creating as the fabled “1,000 monkeys in a room full of typewriters” had of writing the Great American Novel.

    Like illiterate barbarians tearing down Rome, they’ve set out to undo all that made this nation a beacon of light in a world of darkness. What will come will likely be called the 2nd Dark Ages, lasting until people once again realize they have more to lose tolerating the status quo, than they do by rising up against it. Don’t look for that insight to happen in your grandchildren’s lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *