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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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?

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate