And having 1099 contractors isn't some kind of strange and arcane loophole that a company is scummy or stupid purely for using
That definitely varies by situation. About a decade ago, Microsoft lost a major lawsuit about how they used on-site contractors. IIRC, they had to let many go because they were unwilling to convert them to full-time salary positions.
I think the stock options stuff had something to do with it, but in any case, like most regulatory contexts, there is a wide range of stories, some pretty, some ugly, some just a muddle.
sending big lumps of cashola to the IRS every few months does make you painfully aware how much the government is taking from you
It took me a couple of years to get in the hang of planning for and paying my estimated 1099 taxes, and it is still my least favorite part of working 1099 because if I have a better year than I expected, I can end up owing a payment with my return.
As far as your taxes being taken
from you, we need to get over this nonsense in the US. Either sign up for Libertarian fantasy-land and start getting all sorts of bills for police protection, fire protection, maintainence for the street where you live, tolls for your road to work, and, of course, your share of the privatized US military, or just admit that taxes are a necessary, if unpleasant, part of civilized life. We need to stop talking like there is no such thing as a bad tax cut and focus more on whether a given tax law is working well or doing screwy things like this MI change seems to have done.