Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) questions Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin during a Senate Finance Committee hearing concerning fiscal year 2018 budget proposals for the Department of Treasury and tax reform, on Capitol Hill, May 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Sen. Chuck Grassley is facing criticism after he implied over the weekend that people who aren’t saving money are wasting it “on booze or women or movies” while defending the GOP plan to get rid of the estate tax.
“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, R-Iowa, told The Des Moines Register over the weekend.
Critics slammed Grassley on social media over the weekend, framing his comment as proof that the Republican Party has lost touch with working-class Americans.
Grassley is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which wielded strong influence on the tax bill, and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The estate tax, which critics have often referred to as the “death tax,” is levied against a person’s assets when he or she dies. Under the current tax code, a person is taxed 40 percent if he or she passes on more than $5.5 million in assets, or $11 million for married couples. Under the plan passed early Saturday by the Senate, the tax only applies to those who pass on more than $11 million in assets, or $22 million for couples, according to The Washington Post.