the national interest

Trump’s Correction of His Tax Lie Is Also a Lie

President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., October 16, 2017. Photo: The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Donald Trump has been saying for a very long time that the United States is the highest-taxed country in the world. This is not remotely true. Today reporter Mike Sacks asked him why he keeps saying something that’s obviously false. Trump acknowledged that this “fact” he constantly asserts is false, but it’s true in spirit, because the United States is the highest-taxed developed country:

That is also false. In fact, it’s even more false than the original statement. Most of the countries that have a lower share of taxes to gross domestic product are the undeveloped economies. When you limit the comparison to developed economies, almost every other country taxes a higher share of its economy:

“Lie” is usually a bad word to describe untruths by public figures, because it presumes intentionality that you usually can’t know. But Trump is admitting that he’s saying something false, and will continue to say it. Lying by politicians is pretty common. Lying as brazenly as Trump does is rare. And politicians just admitting that they’re lying and will keep on lying is probably unique to Donald Trump.

Trump’s Correction of His Tax Lie Is Also a Lie