Donald Trump Rediscovers an Old Truism: Big Lies Are Better Than Little Ones

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Last night I suggested that under the pressure of the debate, Donald Trump had flubbed by saying that America has the highest taxes in the world. Via email, a friend corrects me:

No, it wasn’t a flub. He’s been saying that for weeks, that we have the highest taxes in the world, full stop. Nothing about corporate or business. Media has such a hard time keeping up with all the crap that comes out of his mouth, they just haven’t gotten around to highlighting this one, but he’s been saying it repeatedly in both interviews and his rallies.

Sigh. I realize this is just spitting into the wind, but here’s the total tax bill for every OECD country as of 2012. This is everything: federal, state, payroll, excise, sales tax, property tax, etc. Everything:

We don’t pay the highest taxes. We pay the lowest except for Chile and Mexico, which belong to the OECD only by courtesy in the first place. They’re both poor countries with average wages about a quarter of ours.

But I guess this is just more of those lying government statistics. Unemployment is really 42 percent. Illegal immigration is skyrocketing. Obamacare premiums are up 30, 40, 50 percent. American taxes are the highest in the world.

Well, hell. If I believed that stuff—and why wouldn’t I if I were some ordinary rube listening to Trump speak?—I suppose I’d vote for Trump too. This is yet another example of the conservative movement creating its own Frankenstein. Fox and Rush and Heritage and all the rest of them have been hawking phony statistics for years, and now Trump is beating them at their own game. He’s realized that you don’t have to offer any fancy explanations and you don’t have to stretch the truth only a little bit. You can just say anything you want. And now all the folks that have spent years lying just a little bit are aghast.

Is it the weekend yet?

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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