U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Statement Voted 2017 Most Classist Comment

For Immediate Release: December 31, 2017

Contact: Anne Phillips, 617.477.8635; Denise Moorehead, 781.608.4608

BOSTON – For the eighth consecutive year, Class Action has asked people from across the United States to nominate and then vote for the Most Classist Comment of the year. With 35.7% of the vote, U.S. Senator Charles (Chuck) E. Grassley’s (R-Iowa) comments denigrating average Americans is the 2017 top vote-getter.

During the first weekend in December, Iowa’s senior senator stated, “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.”

The Most Classist Comment of 2017 is awarded to a prominent person or public figure that demeans working-class or poor people, perpetuates classist myths and stereotypes, and illustrates a disturbing indifference toward class inequities.

“All of our entries had one thing in common, they were uttered by people in positions of power to perpetuate the mythology of the undeserving poor and the deserving rich,” explained Anne Phillips, executive director of Class Action.

“Senator Grassley does not seem to understand that unlike the super-rich who get most of their money from asset appreciation and inheritances, not working, most Americans strain to make ends meet. He seems to think that if we would just stop spending our paychecks frivolously, we could easily save over $5 million, the amount of money subject to 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.” U.S. Senator Charles (Chuck) E. Grassley

In addition to Sen Grassley’s comment, this year’s Most Classist Comment nominees are from:

  • U.S. President Donald Trump, 22.3%
  • Former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, 16.1%
  • Louise Linton, wife of Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, 12.5%
  • Donald Trump Jr., 9.8%
  • White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, 2.7%
  • Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to Donald Trump, 0.9%

Winners from previous years include:

  • 2016, Paul Graham, a Silicon Valley executive and venture capitalist
  • 2015, Denise Elsken, a member of the Martinez Unified School District
  • 2014, Tom Perkins, venture capital pioneer

Class Action inspires action to end classism and extreme inequality by providing change-makers with tools, training and inspiration to raise awareness, shift cultural beliefs about social class, build cross-class solidarity, and transform institutions and systems.

-30-

Leave a Reply