The Washington Post had a piece discussing a proposal to increase access to child care. The piece told readers the proposal would cost $20 billion a year. It then added this could:

"be financed through a 0.2 percentage-point increase in payroll taxes, which advocates say equals $72.04 a year for the average female worker."

While the $20 billion figure likely would mean little to most Post readers since few have much sense of how large this is relative to the budget or their tax bill, most readers likely have a clear idea of what a 0.2 percentage point increase in the payroll tax means. This simple addition to the article conveyed essential information to readers that would have been missed if the article had only reported the $20 billion figure.

Now why can't news stories do this all the time?

 

Addendum: I see from comments that the calculation here almost certainly refers to the earnings of the median female worker and not the average. Thanks for catching this.

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