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Politics & Current Affairs

Toward a Taxpayer Receipt

An idea proposed by the Third Way, that government issue an itemized taxpayer receipt, has the support of many commentators who want to know what their tax dollars are used for.

“Megan McArdle writes that [a taxpayer receipt] is a great idea, but most of the liberal folks who are championing it may be unpleasantly surprised to find out which of the big-ticket items end up raising voters’ ire: ‘[I]sn’t it possible that the widespread support for programs like Social Security and Medicare rests on the fact that most people don’t realize just how big a portion of your paycheck those programs consume?’ Maybe. But the three items that voters already do see broken out separately on their taxes are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, since they’re paid separately as FICA. Setting up the list this way might change things a bit, but then again it might not.”


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