CEDAR RAPIDS ? As U.S. Congressional representatives gave final approval to a $1.5 trillion tax reform plan, Sen. Chuck Grassley offered a spirited defense of the package, calling it ?good news for working families.?
?It will let Iowans keep more of their own money so they can choose how best to spend what they?ve earned,? the Iowa Republican said Wednesday.
He predicted it will result in job growth, increase wages and encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas.
Addressing the polls that show the bill President Donald Trump is expected to sign this week is unpopular with voters, Grassley blames misconceptions sown by the ?ideological opponents of lower taxes.?
?It just kind of irritates me when I heard Democrats yesterday in final debate were saying something about ?trickle down? and it never works,? Grassley said on his weekly conference call with Iowa reporters. ?Well, listen, we had trickle up in the Obama administration when they increased taxes through Obamacare and a tax bill by $2.2 trillion.
?The trickle-up theory didn?t help either with 1.4 percent growth over eight-year period of time, the slowest growth in any decade since World War II. They surely can?t claim to have answers,? he said.
He added the economy currently is growing at three percent.
Although it?s impossible to know how it will affect all 142 million people who file federal taxes, Grassley believes the tax plan that was approved without Democratic support will lower rates at every income level and maintain progressivity in the tax code.
A key, he said, is that the plan repeals the ?unfair and regressive? individual mandate tax under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Grassley said 52,000 Iowans, 80 percent with incomes of less than $50,000 a year, who choose not to buy health insurance will not have to pay a penalty.
?That helps them not be penalized and makes the tax code more progressive,? he said.
Grassley didn?t want to speculate on the impact the tax plan will have on the 2018 midterm elections. If he only listened to what ?liberals and Democrats were saying about it ?, I could be very negative about it.?
?I guess it?s one of these things where people have to see it in their paycheck, and then they?ll know the difference it makes to them,? he said.
?I don?t see how it can be a disadvantage.?