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House Republican Says GOP Tax Plan ‘Mislabeled’ as Middle-Class Cut

Yuval Rosenberg

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) speaks at the Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) in Chantilly, Virginia September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - GM1E99K0PKQ01

Republicans including President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others have tried to pitch their tax plan as a boon for the middle class. But Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) says it’s been “mislabeled” and is really more about corporate tax cuts than anything else.

“From a truth in advertising standpoint,” Sanford told The Washington Post’s Erica Werner, “it would have been a lot simpler if we just acknowledged reality on this bill, which is it’s fundamentally a corporate tax reduction and restructuring bill, period.”

Sanford, who voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, went on to say that the sales pitch might have been constructed the way it was in part because of concerns over political perceptions of Trump. "There's a degree of political sensitivity given, I think, the president's net worth and business involvements and of being labeled as what might be best for him," Sanford said. Despite Trump’s claims that he won’t benefit from the tax plan, analyses have found that he and his family could save more than $1 billion from the tax overhaul.

But as Vox’s Tara Golshan notes, the GOP would have faced another problem in pitching a tax cut for businesses: “Cutting taxes on corporations is really unpopular with the American public, even among Republican voters.” A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent was one of the least popular elements of the GOP plan.

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