Fuzzy Math

This strikes me as odd:

During the first six months of this year – the start of the 2008 campaign – seven presidential contenders had well over 100 salaried employees. Collectively, the 17 candidates spent more than $22.9 million on staff salaries and another $11.4 million in payroll taxes, according to their FEC filings.

If this is true, then about one third of the total payroll costs went to payroll taxes. Considering as the average payroll tax rate in the US is 16.1% (12.4% for Social Security, 2.9% for Medicare, 0.8% for unemployment), this seems curious. Perhaps someone who knows more about tax policy could explain this one.

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