The tax deduction for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act begins today here in Massachusetts. Your progressive lawmakers agreed to the $800 million program outlined in the "grand bargain" law that Gov. Charlie Baker signed last summer to avert several ballot questions, including a question on repealing the sales tax and a minimum wage hike.

Starting today, all Massachusetts workers will see a little less in their take-home pay as the new payroll tax goes into effect to pay for this intrusive government bureaucracy that most will never benefit from. By the way, your employer must also contribute, so there goes your pay raise and Christmas bonus.

Under the paid family and medical leave program, qualifying workers would get 12 weeks of paid family leave and 20 weeks of paid personal medical leave. Your payout would be a percentage of your weekly earnings. You start kicking in today but benefits will not be paid out until January of 2021.

The contribution weekly is small for the average worker but mandatory just the same. I hate it when that happens.

What no one has been able to explain to me yet is how all of this will work. In other words, who will administer this program? I suspect there will be an entirely new level of bureaucracy created with personnel, offices, equipment, paychecks, benefits, pensions, etc.

The program has lots of supporters but then again Massachusetts residents seem to enjoy being fleeced by their government. If we've got to fund nanny state programs such as this, we should take the money from the roughly $2.2 billion we spent annually on programs for illegal aliens instead and leave working families alone.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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