The much ballyhooed “supercommittee” on U.S. debt issues – whose efforts have imploded, due to the same ongoing political fighting which created many of the issues in the first place – may have even more dire impact for two key components of the economy, included in those failed negotiations. Without further action, the still-substantial numbers of unemployed are set to lose their benefits, and a 2 percent cut to employee payroll taxes – a cut that gave workers an extra $120 billion this year – is also set to expire at the beginning of 2012. Consider both the human and the macroeconomic costs attached to both issues.

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