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?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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