WH Stands By Trump’s False Claim, Says US Is ‘Highest Taxed Corporate Nation’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday refused to back away from President Donald Trump’s incorrect claim that America is “the highest taxed nation in the world.”

Trump made the claim in the Oval Office during a meeting with Henry Kissinger, according to a pool report. The Trump administration has aggressively pushed a vague tax cut plan in recent weeks, which includes a dramatic cut to the corporate tax rate as well as a slew of other benefits for the rich.

It’s not true that America is the highest taxed nation in the world, by a multitude of measures.

Though America’s top federal corporate tax rate of 35 percent is the highest among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, American corporations on average pay far less that that number. And, as NPR noted, based on data from the Tax Policy Center, corporate tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product has dropped dramatically in recent decades in the United States.

At a press briefing Tuesday, Sanders said Trump meant to say that America was the “highest taxed corporate nation” among “developed economies across the globe.”

“The President repeated this claim in the Oval Office today, saying we are the highest taxed nation in the world,” One America News Network’s Trey Yingst told Sanders. “Why does the President keep saying this? It’s not true overall.”

“We are the highest taxed — corporate tax in the developed economy,” Sanders said. “That’s a fact.”

“But that’s not what the President said,” Yingst responded.

“That’s what he’s talking about,” Sanders replied. “We are the highest corporate taxed country in the developed economies across the globe.”

“So that’s accurate,” Yingst said. “But the President keeps repeating this claim that we are the highest taxed nation.”

Sanders began: “We are the highest taxed corporate nation, that’s—”

“That’s not what he said,” Yingst interrupted. “He said we are the highest taxed nation in the world.”

“The highest taxed corporate nation, that seems pretty consistent to me,” Sanders said, moving on. “Sorry, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK