When Republicans talk about their tax plans, they usually make an effort to mention the middle clbad. The evidence shows that current Republican Party proposals, when fully implemented, would increase taxes on millions of middle-clbad households, but at least on their public issues, Republican officials try to avoid sounding plutocratic.
The efforts of the GOP to repeal the However, the wealth tax makes the political push is complicated, because literally no one in the middle clbad pays the tax that applies only to farms that are worth more than $ 5.49 million . The standard Republican line is that the estate tax is bad for farmers, but Des Moines Register published a good work over the weekend, noting that a "review of federal tax data and research is not Partisan on the subject shows that family farmers and small business owners represent a small portion of taxpayers, and that the taxes they must rarely force them to sell land or abandon agriculture. "
The data has apparently not influenced Senator Chuck Grbadley (R-Iowa), a fervent opponent of estate tax.
In an interview on November 29, Grbadley was adamant about the need for change, even if farmers and small business owners represent a small minority of wealth taxpayers. The reason, he said, is both philosophical and practical.
A property tax effectively and unfairly taxes a person's earnings twice, he argued: first when they earn it and again when they die. And, he added, penalizes savers without touching those who spend.
"I think not having the estate tax recognizes people who are investing," Grbadley said, "unlike those who are spending every penny they have, whether it's alcohol or women or movies."
It is rare to see prominent politicians celebrate elitism with such frankness. To hear Grbadley tell it, multimillionaires and billionaires, and their heirs, deserve a costly tax exemption. If the rest of us spend our salaries the way the millionaire Senator from Iowa approves, maybe we would be millionaires too.
In other words, if you're not rich enough to qualify for the estate tax, it's probably your fault – that's why Republicans in Congress do not see the need to "recognize" it.
Grbadley's quote may be provocative, but not necessarily unique. There is a deep tension in contemporary republican politics that says that the rich are entitled to special benefits because they are rich, while those at the lower end of the economic spectrum deserve less because they have less.
Earlier this year, for example, a Republican congressman justified a vote on the repeal of ACA by saying that Americans could pay for health security, without badistance, by giving up "getting that new iPhone."
One of my favorite moments of the 2012 campaign came when Mitt Romney praised "The Entrepreneurial Spirit" pointing to Jim Liautaud, who had problems in school, but who borrowed money from his father, created a sandwich business and ended up with 1,200 Jimmy John restaurants across the country.
For Romney, this was clear proof that Americans "do not need the government" to get by. Individuals, said the Republican, simply need to "look at themselves and say:" What can I do to improve myself? "
The part of the story that Romney conveniently overlooked is the fact that the hero of the story was successful because he had a father with thousands of dollars that he could lend to his son. Much of the country, meanwhile, does not have enough money in the bank to cover an emergency spending of $ 400. What can you do to improve? Romney's suggestion was that you can choose richer parents, although I'm afraid it's impractical advice.
Given this reality, Grbadley and other Republicans are convinced that the best use of their efforts is to approve, among other things, a repeal of the estate tax. that benefits the rich exclusively.
For many years, Democrats have struggled with rural voters, in part because of cultural considerations: these communities often say they feel belittled by the urban "elites" who fire working families in "flying over" the country. "
Which is precisely what makes Grbadley's appointment so important." The senior senator from Iowa not only advocates tax breaks for the rich, he is also expressing disdain for those who live on salaries. Veteran Republican legislator despises them, amazed by what he considers the fiscal irresponsibility of working families.
A few weeks after the 2016 election, Stephen Moore, a conservative economist who advised Donald Trump during the campaign, told him to a group of Republicans that the economic vision of the party had taken an important turn. "Just when Reagan turned the Republican Party into a conservative party, Trump turned the Republican Party into a populist clbad of the working clbad," Moore said at the time.
In retrospect, the comments seemed like a cruel joke.