The New York Times reports that the new W-2 rule requiring the disclosure of the cost of employer provided health care contains surprises for many workers. The rule was ostensibly added to make workers more cost conscious, though critics suspect it was also added as a prelude to eventually taxing the benefits.
I disagree with Rush’s perspective that the disclosure could cause workers to feel that their employer is not providing them much in the way of benefits — in my experience health premiums are incredibly expensive and the average worker is shocked to learn how much it really costs. According to the Times article, the average premium for family coverage in 2012 was $15,745. As regular readers know, I think tax transparency promotes smaller government by making the cost of government more apparent.
To modify a menswear store’s slogan from my youth (“An educated consumer is our best customer”), an educated taxpayer is big government’s worst nightmare.