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Social Security is 6.2% employer, 6.2% employee...but most economists would say that the employee pays both halves, since the cost is directly related to a specific person's job. (this year there's a temporary cut in the employee half as a stimulus measure)

There's also a similar 50/50 Medicare payroll tax that totals 2.9% of each worker's salary.

Total hit on most Americans for both programs is 15.3% of gross income.

What's scary is that is nowhere near enough revenue to sustain either.

As a self-employed person, I have to cover both halves. It's a bit of a shock when it's taken out on top of income tax.

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