Tuesday, October 17, 2017


President Trump said it again today, on the radio to Fox's Brian Kilmeade:
We're the highest taxed nation in the world. We need the tax cuts.
The talking point is regularly refuted -- here's Paul Krugman knocking it down over the weekend -- but Trump doesn't stop.

Today an enterprising young reporter tried confronting Trump on the fake talking point. He was wasting his time.

MIKE SACKS: ... repeatedly said that we're the highest-taxed nation in the world, when that's been seen as objectively false. How -- with the credibility you need to pass tax reform, why do you--

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Some people say it differently, and they'll say we're the highest developed nation taxed in the world.

SACKS: And why don't you say it that way?

TRUMP: Because a lot of people know exactly what I'm talking about it. In many cases, they think I'm right when I say "the highest." As far as I'm concern, I think we're really essentially the highest, but if you'd like to add the "developed nation," you can say that too. But a lot of people agree that the way I'm saying it is exactly correct. Thank you very much.
Yes, the president answered with his usual combination of alpha-male arrogance and "I didn't do the reading so I'm just making stuff up" improvisational BS. But Sacks fails here, too.

Sacks -- a national political correspondent for Scripps (and a former #3 on the "50 Most Beautiful" list of the D.C. publication The Hill) -- shouldn't have even asked the question if he didn't also know that there are many higher-taxed countries, and they're all "developed." Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium, Switzerland -- these are not Third World countries.

How should we rank the nations? Taxes per person? Or taxes as a percentage of GDP? Either way, the U.S. is far behind many rich nations. (Go here to see the charts in their original not-blurry form.)

C'mon, Mike, you get paid to do this. Don't even ask the question if you're not well-informed enough to know what the follow-up should be.

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