Politics Top GOP congressman: Our tax bill was 'mislabeled' to avoid concerns about Trump's 'net worth and business involvements'

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Mark Sanford, a South Carolina Republican, this week told reporters the GOP tax bill was "mislabeled" since it's more about business taxes than personal taxes.

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(Bruce Smith/AP Images)
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  • Rep. Mark Sanford, a South Carolina Republican, told reporters the GOP tax bill "has been mislabeled" because it's more about business taxes than personal taxes.
  • Sanford said the GOP painted the tax bill as a middle-class tax cut because of President Donald Trump's "net worth and business involvements."


A Republican lawmaker says he doesn't think his party correctly labeled its tax bill.

Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina told reporters this week that the Republican bill, named the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was in essence a corporate tax reform bill with some personal tax cut veneer to make it go down easier.

"Fundamentally the bill has been mislabeled," Sanford said, according to The Washington Post's Erica Werner. "From a truth-in-advertising standpoint 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."

A study by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that of the nearly $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in the House-passed version of the bill, roughly $400 billion in cuts would go to individuals and $1.1 trillion would go toward the business side.

While the Senate bill distributes the tax cuts more evenly, businesses still get more of the cuts.

"You can argue the merits or demerits of doing that and what it will mean in terms of economic expansion and growth, but fundamentally if you look at the bulk of the bill, about two-thirds of it is tied to the business side," Sanford said, adding that the individual tax cuts were not "the core of what the bill is."

Other Republicans have also derided the personal side of the bill. Sen. Bob Corker, the only Republican to vote against the bill in the Senate, said he would like to take the individual tax changes it proposed "directly to the incinerator." Larry Kudlow, a conservative economist and former Trump economic adviser, took issue with changes to the personal side in an interview with Politico, saying the legislation was "not a true tax reform bill."

Sanford suggested Republicans portrayed the bill as being centered on broader tax reform partly because of President Donald Trump and his background.

"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.

One of Trump's go-to arguments at rallies in support of the tax bill is a claim that the tax bill would not benefit him. But multiple analyses of his partial tax returns have shown that the bill would save him millions.