President Obama has signed into law an extension through the end of the year of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, and the so-called “doc fix” to prevent Medicare physician reimbursement rates from plunging.

Obama had pushed for the extension, arguing that it would provide the average taxpayer with an extra $40 in a typical two-week paycheck. The payroll tax cut was in effect last year, cutting Social Security and Medicare withholding taxes 2 percentage points, from 6.2 to 4.2 percent.

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