President Donald Trump has been promising his base substantial tax reform. If you're skeptical that anything Trump plans will actually benefit the low-income population, or even the middle class, that makes sense. His previous healthcare bill was seemingly designed with an interest for keeping money in the top, as opposed to helping lower income constituents.
But there's another reason to doubt that Trump's administration will suddenly present us with an incredible new tax system: He doesn't know what the heck he's talking about. Shocking!
On Wednesday, Trump headed to North Dakota to hold meetings on his plans, and tweeted one of his new favorite misinformation pieces. He claims the United States is "the highest taxed nation in the world."
Will be going to North Dakota today to discuss tax reform and tax cuts. We are the highest taxed nation in the world - that will change.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
As Vox reports, Trump has referred in the past to the U.S. 35 percent statutory corporate tax rate, which technically is the highest on paper. But the reality is that all corporations use loopholes to drastically reduce that rate. Hunter Blair, a tax and budget analyst at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, told Vox's reporter that in some cases the reduction is so drastic, it's almost negligible.
“It’s a bit misleading because our corporate tax code is riddled with loopholes and what corporations pay is far, far lower — somewhere between 13 and 21 percent,” said Blair. “When you get down to specific companies, sometimes they pay 3, 4, 5 percent."
And when it comes to taxes on individuals, Trump's claim falls apart even further, as can be seen in this GIF shared by Washington economist Michael Linden:
Which is based on all of our many tax categories grouped together, since most countries don't have states:
This is total taxes-federal,state,local. Many OECD countries don't have our federal/state distinction, so this is fairest way to compare.— Michael Linden (@MichaelSLinden) September 6, 2017
Which is, of course, being contested in the replies, as some individuals fall into high tax brackets. But again, because of loopholes, the vast majority of people pay far, far less than the ceiling of what they could:
Top earner in CA pays 39% in fed income taxes and 13.3% in state income taxes... Now I understand write offs limit some liability but wow— Political Capital (@PolitcalCapital) September 6, 2017
And though we all hate taxes, the reality is that most highly industrialized countries with tax codes to match are some of the best places in the world to live, because they provide actual services to people:
Those higher taxed countries are the ones taking care of their citizens. You know, the healthiest and happiest countries.— Baileys a Bit Bigger (@Idratherbegamin) September 6, 2017
Which makes them much happier!
Healthcare and a safety net aren't cheap, because they're pretty priceless.