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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Full Paycheck Disclosure

One of my standing gripes with our tax code is that many taxes are hidden. One, in particular, is the "employer's share" of Social Security, as well as unemployment insurance, etc. If you're an employee, you pay these taxes, although they are hidden from you since they come out of your share of the gross payroll, not out of your visible salary. The employer doesn't pay them; calling them the "employer's share" is a fiction to make it seem that there's some mythical "burden-sharing" taking place.

My proposal: print the entire cost of an employee on his paycheck. Include the "employer's share" of social security and medicare, as well as all other government-related taxes and costs of hiring the employee. Also, if you want serious medical insurance discussions, print the per capita cost of employee medical insurance on the paycheck as well.

Discussions of taxes will be far more intelligent if people don't imagine that "someone else" is paying taxes that they are in fact paying.

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