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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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