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

Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 08:02:07 AM. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, issued a statement Monday saying a quote from him was not interpreted correctly after critics said Grassley disrespected working-class Americans, according to The Hill.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, issued a statement Monday saying a quote from him was not interpreted correctly after critics said Grassley disrespected working-class Americans, according to The Hill.

"My point regarding the estate tax, which has been taken out of context, is that the government shouldn't seize the fruits of someone's lifetime of labor after they die. The question is one of basic fairness, and working to create a tax code that doesn't penalize frugality, saving, and investment," Grassley said in the statement.

The Des Moines Register published an interview earlier Monday with the quote that drew criticism for Grassley.

"I think not having the estate tax recognizes that people 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 in The Register.

The estate tax is a 40-percent tax on estates that are worth around $10 million or more, and House and Senate versions of tax reform legislation disagree on how to handle the tax.

The House version calls for elimination of the estate tax by 2024, but doubles the exemption before its full repeal. In the Senate version, the estate tax would double the current exemption, allowing up to $11 million to be tax-free, but would not eliminate the tax, The Hill reported.

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