When a politician accidently shows how much contempt he has for poor people
Sen. Chuck Grassley is a complete asshole. That much you probably knew.
But did you know just how big of an asshole he is?
Consider this article about Grassley's effort to repeal the estate tax.
The federal estate tax will be slashed and perhaps eliminated altogether.
That will represent a victory for Republicans in Iowa’s congressional delegation, who have consistently opposed the tax and argued it unfairly lumps in the state’s farmers with some of the country’s richest families.
But a review of federal tax data and nonpartisan research on the subject shows that family farmers and small business owners represent a tiny share of estate tax payers, and that the taxes they owe rarely force them to sell land or quit farming.
The number of Iowans paying the estate tax actually numbers in the dozens each year, out of roughly 1.4 million who file federal tax returns each year. IRS data from the last five years shows the number of Iowa taxpayers owing estate taxes ranged from 32 in 2012 to 61 in 2015, and that the vast majority of those probably were not farmers or small business owners.
... Seventy-two percent of estate tax payments come from the top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers; 42 percent comes from the top 0.1 percent.
Simple and clear. The myth of the estate tax going after family farms is similar to Reagan's fictional Welfare Queen with a dozen Cadillacs.
However, waaayyy down deep in this article, when Grassley was confronted with these facts, his response showed exactly the kind wealthy elitism Republicans say they oppose.
“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing,” Grassley said, “as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”
This is simply a throwback to Gilded Age thinking: poor people are poor because they morally flawed. Rich people are rich because they are better.
It's only one small step from there to full Social Darwinism.
For instance, consider this article from 1994.
Bill Clinton should have studied Darwin before he proposed a health system that would guarantee medical care for every person for their entire lives....Crucial to the theory is that losers are as essential as winners on the road to robust, well-adapted populations. The "sacrifice" of the maladapted fuels the engine of evolution just as much as the victory of the fit.
...The American health care system, concerned overwhelmingly with the well-being of individuals, rests on a principle that is akin to "survival of the fittest." A system based on universal coverage, however, inhabits the other end of the Darwinian dialectic.
Like Grassley above, it's interesting that someone admitted that our health care system is built upon the "survival of the fittest" premise.
The old and sick should die for the good of humanity.
— Gracie St. Ives (@roguecats7) December 3, 2017