You may not have noticed, but chances are the federal government took several hundred dollars less this year from your paycheck than in 2010.

 However, that temporary cut in the Social Security payroll tax — the result of last year’s tax deal between President Barack Obama and Republicans — expires in a month. If Congress does nothing, the Social Security tax will revert to 6.2 percent of pay from the current 4.2 percent. If you earn $50,000 a year, your take-home pay could shrink by $1,000 next year.

 U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, is backing a Democratic bill, introduced this week, that not only would extend the tax break another year, it would cut the tax down to 3.1 percent of pay for 2012.

“Payroll tax cuts put more money in the pockets of the middle class,” Brown said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday, noting that many Americans haven’t gotten raises and face higher health care costs. “That means they’ll have (more) money to spend on necessities like food, gas, mortgage and rent.”

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