The Biggest Lie?

When you have a President who is on track to tell over 2,000 lies in his first year in office it is difficult to determine which is the biggest. Hence, the question mark at the end of this article’s title. However I can tell you which one gnaws at me the most and on Monday of this week it was the first one Paul Krugman demonstrably disproved in his New York Times op-ed entitled: Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies. Yes that is ten lies, the number Dr. Krugman disproved in the article. My readers can breathe a sigh of relief because I just want to deal with one today. Let’s explore.

Donald Trump has repeated stated, “We’re the highest taxed nation in the world.” By any reasonable measure that statement is patently false. It has been called out as such multiple times by multiple news sources. That revelation has to have penetrated into the Donald Dome by now yet Trump keeps repeating the lie. On more than one occasion White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been asked why by various reporters. On October 10th the exchange with reporters on this issue reached its zenith. Trey Yingst of One America News Network got into an exchange during which the condescending Sanders (more about that in a bit) got into a three part exchange where she did some very uncomfortable stammering in a futile attempt to defend Trump’s repeated lie. She concluded the exchange with “That sounds pretty consistent to me. Sorry, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.”

Now Sanders sounds anything but intelligent to me so if she really believes the incomplete sentences that constituted her answer/rebuttal to Yingst’s question proved Trump to be correct or were in any way consistent with reality perhaps Trump isn’t the only moron in the White House. The “agree to disagree card” is played when you either just want to move on or think your opponent is too stupid to continue debating with. In this case it was a clear admission of defeat by Sanders! In my mind in order to be condescending you have to be superior to the person you are interacting with. If Sanders thinks she is superior to the vast majority of the White House Press Corps she is further gone than even I imagine.

As an interesting aside, I have to admit I knew nothing of Yingst or One America News prior to the incident and researching this article. As it turns out One America News is pretty far right, targets an audience right of Fox News’ and started out not long ago in somewhat of a partnership with the Washington Times. This is hardly some left wing gotcha job!

As you might expect from a world class economist with a Nobel Prize in economics on his resume, Krugman buttressed his argument with facts. He produced a chart comparing taxes in the OCED (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development) countries as a portion of GDP. The United States, at 26.4%, ranks as the fifth lowest taxed nation with only Mexico, Chile, Ireland and South Korea lower. They along with 11 other countries are below the average of 34.3%. The sixteen nations above the average are Portugal, Slovenia, Greece, Germany, Luxembourg, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Belgium, France and Denmark.

Any method of comparison is subject to criticism but percentage of GDP is one of, if not, the fairest and most accurate. The nominal top rate is malarkey. It’s the net tax liability that counts. One of the most unfair situations in America is that many very large corporations pay zero in federal corporate income tax because of loopholes and in some cases actually receive a tax credit on top of that. The janitor at many of these companies pays more in taxes than the corporation does. I’m not talking rate; I’m talking actual dollars. Ever wonder why Trump and his stooges never want to talk about that? Actually I can explain why. They don’t come from the janitor class and major corporations make much bigger political donations than janitors do.

On a personal note I actually miss Sean Spicer doing the daily briefings. Perhaps it’s a sadistic streak in me, but there was something entertaining in seeing him struggle through the ordeal. Sanders, like Trump, has a big enough opinion of themselves to act condescending, but they both lack the talent and intellect to back it up.

It’s difficult to say which is Trump’s biggest lie but this one represents the most dollars. Now I wonder if he’ll ever stop using it.

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