The Wall Street Journal has an editorial on the national debt, asserting, "a series of non-stimulative tax cuts—tax rebates in 2008 and 2009, and payroll tax holidays in 2011 and this year—have depleted the Treasury with little economic benefit. These tax cuts don't change the incentive at the margin to work or invest, and they thus have little feedback effect in revenues from faster growth."
Back in December of 2010, when the newly elected House majority forced the payroll tax cut through, the Journal editorialists had modulated praise for it, writing at the time:
The one-year cut to 4.2% from 6.2% in the employee portion of the Social Security tax increases the incentive to work. Because it doesn't favor some workers over others, it is also superior to the tax credits that Democrats wanted…. This proves again that Republicans win the economic debate when they make the case for lower taxes for everyone in the name of faster growth and job creation.
More on this payroll tax issue later.