Trump Incorrectly Says United States Is The Highest Taxed Nation (Again)

By on September 6, 2017

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he would be visiting North Dakota later in the day to discuss the important issue of tax reform. He also made an incredulous claim: that the United States is the highest taxed nation in the world.

“We are the highest taxed nation in the world — that will change,” the president wrote.

But contrary to what Donald Trump believes and says, the United States is already not the highest taxed nation. In fact, among the member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. is actually at the lower end of the “most taxed” spectrum on a per capita basis.

This is not just an opinion, but demonstratively true, as this graph from Joe Thorndike, writer for, shows.

And Roosevelt Institute Fellow Michael Linden provides this animated GIF to give more detail about how wrong Trump’s statement really is.

Taxes only account for 26 percent as a share of the Gross Domestic Product in the U.S. Only three nations in the OECD are actually taxed at a lower rate than the United States: South Korea, Chile, and Mexico.

As it is, that rate is lower still than where we stood 17 years ago. In the year 2000, our taxes as a percent of GDP was at 28.2 percent.

This is not the first time that Trump has made this erroneous claim, as PolitiFact points out.

Analysts have had a critical eye on the tax proposals the Trump administration has put out. While Trump will likely plan to tout the proposal as one that benefits hard-working Americans, in reality it will actually help lower the tax rates mostly for his rich friends (as well as himself). Corporate tax rates for multi-million and billion dollar companies could be slashed by more than half, for example, while middle class workers could see minimal changes.

Yet all of this is just speculation at this point — the specifics of Trump’s tax proposal haven’t been released because he’s leaving it to Congress to figure out. And we all know how well that will likely turn out…