Less than a year ago, the White House was vigorously campaigning to extend the payroll tax cut, leading to a pitched showdown in Congress. Now, no one seems to care about it, the Wall Street Journal observes. The Obama administration is perfectly content to let the cut, enjoyed by 122 million Americans, expire in December, as are lawmakers. "That was always intended to be a temporary measure," says one top White House economic adviser.
Republicans had to be cajoled into extending the cut the first time, and this time they're flat-out against it. "I don't think we can keep cutting into Social Security," says one GOP rep. Democrats say they'll only let it expire as part of a deal on the Bush tax cuts—but they're not exactly fighting to extend it. Economists are divided on the impact of the cut. "Workers have more income, and that helps," says one, "but overall, it has not stimulated job creation." (Read more payroll taxes stories.)