Are Waistlines Rising Along With Increased Employee Payroll Taxes? Survey Says Yes!

Employee Payroll Tax PeanutsA survey by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of CPAs indicates that the 2013 increase in employee payroll taxes has created tremendous stress on employers and employees alike.  Of course it is obvious that paying more in payroll taxes means an employee takes less money home to their families; however, the stress of how to make ends meet is taking its toll in other ways as well:  particularly in employee health and relationships.

Many Americans are feeling tremendous financial stress in this economy and, accordingly, it is taking great toll on their waistlines, their sleep patterns and their friendships.  The Harris survey, conducted on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs asked “1,011 U.S. adults to name all the ways financial stress is affecting their lives. Of those who rated their financial stress as “very” or “somewhat high,” nearly half (47%) said they are sleeping less, while 43% said they have less patience with friends or are seeing them less often; and 31% are eating more junk food or gaining weight.”

The survey seems like it is confirming what most Americans are feeling, and comes as common sense.  Junk food is cheap.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is becoming more costly.  And, it appears there is less time to grow a garden, should one have a plot of ground in which to do so.  Americans are working harder and longer hours than ever before.  After a working mom picks up her kids from day care, at 6:00 at night, and it is near payday, she may have only $15 that has to stretch a few days – the solution she may choose – McDonalds, Taco Bell, or the like.  After doing homework and baths with the kids and getting them to sleep, does she have time to meet with friends? There would be no time for that. Finally, she could sleep a lot sounder if she had $200 to last until the next pay check, instead of $15.

AICPA National CPA Financial Literacy Commission chairman Ernie Almonte commented: “Mounting money pressures are making Americans cranky, tired and unhealthy. This can lead to a double whammy, with ensuing physical and emotional stress potentially leading to higher long-term costs. Americans must find ways to cope with money stress even when financial challenges seem daunting.”


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