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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A new ad from incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s campaign targets Democratic candidate Mike Franken’s tax positions, saying the retired Navy admiral would raise taxes if elected.
The ad mentions several areas where it claims Franken would raise taxes, including income, the estate tax, capital gains, and Social Security. In a press release, Franken’s campaign said several of the claims in the ad are false.
“At a time of record-breaking inflation contributing to Iowans’ soaring cost of living, Iowans need a senator who will provide tax relief, not tax hikes,” Grassley’s campaign spokesperson Michaela Sundermann said in a statement.
The ad points to comments Franken made in an Iowa PBS debate for several of the claims, including saying he would repeal tax breaks passed under President Donald Trump in 2017. All income brackets saw tax cuts from that law, but the cuts were more concentrated with higher earners.
It says those comments show Franken is in favor of raising the estate tax and cutting the Child Tax Credit, which were both included in Trump’s tax law.
In a press release, Franken’s campaign said the candidate is in favor of making sure the estate tax is not “used as a tax dodge for massive inheritances.” But, he would not increase the estate tax “on regular Iowans, including our farmers, by one penny.”
On the Child Tax Credit, Franken’s campaign said the candidate is not in favor of cutting that tax credit. He said on Iowa Press that after cutting the Trump tax cuts he would “piecemeal some of the other leftover ones that were in the Build Back Better.”
Franken said in Cedar Rapids this week he is in favor of removing the cap on Social Security tax, requiring everyone to pay the same rate for Social Security, regardless of income. Workers and their employers are currently required to contribute 6.2 percent of their income to Social Security up to $147,000.
On increasing income taxes, Grassley’s campaign pointed to a quote from a Winterset campaign event, in which Franken said, “Remember the ‘70s where those that made a lot of money paid 70 percent tax? Now, it's not that. And the write-offs are ridiculous. We can do this.”
Franken’s campaign said the comments stem from support for a Medicare for All system. The system, they said, would save taxpayers money because they would not have to pay for health insurance premiums.
“No matter how much Senator Grassley tries to mislead Iowans to cover up his own record, the truth is clear: Adm. Franken’s tax plan will lower costs for working Iowans, while ensuring the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share to strengthen our economy, improve our infrastructure, and create better schools,” Franken’s spokesperson C.J. Petersen said.
REYNOLDS GUEST SPEAKER: Wesley Hunt, a U.S. Army veteran and candidate for the U.S. House in Texas, will be the special guest speaker at Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ fifth annual Harvest Festival, her campaign fundraiser.
“Wesley loves this country and he has been on the front lines of defending freedom during his time in the U.S. Army,” Reynolds said in a campaign news release. “Now he’s running for Congress and fighting to build and grow the future of our nation’s conservative movement.”
Hunt is running for Congress in a Texas district that leans strongly toward Republicans.
Reynolds’ Harvest Festival is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Tickets for the event, which start at $50, can be purchased at reynoldsharvestfestival.com.
Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau