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Introducing the Distinctionary

A few years back, your Conductor had his mental locomotive overhauled and upgraded at CoachU. One of the tools CoachU used was called the Distinctionary (pdf). It was designed to highlight sometimes subtle but important differences between words and ideas.

The Negative Railroad is now offering its own version of a Distinctionary. In it, I will highlight subtleties as the CoachU version does, and also clarify meaning or add detail to the dialects used in the regions through which the NRR travels.

Now, the first entry—

Income Tax vs. Payroll Tax:
Income tax is collected on earned income, including wages and interest. Payroll tax is collected only on wages or self-employment earnings. Income tax is supposed to fund the Federal government’s operations, while payroll tax goes toward Social Security and Medicare. When politicians talk about cutting taxes on George, or raising taxes on Steve, they’re almost always talking about income tax. Both George and Steve should recognize that their total tax burden includes income and payroll taxes.