Nightly News | December 21, 2011
>>> now to the fight in washington over the payroll tax cut extension. with ten days left including christmas and new year's before the cut expires there is no sign that either side is ready to move. we are covering the story from two angles tonight including the latest from washington , but we'll begin with nbc's ron mott on the worries about less money and paychecks now hitting home .
>> reporter: with the nation's lawmakers headed home for the holidays and no resolution on extending the payroll tax cuts, families like the blanfords in southern california are facing an uncertain new year, fearing smaller paychecks starting january 1st .
>> we are putting our 18-year-old through college. with the economy the way it is i look out and wonder if there is a way we'll make it.
>> reporter: today the white house used social media to gauge concern about the latest political fight that puts workers in the middle asking how an average $40 drop in pay every two weeks would affect americans and their families. it means a full tank of gas, a week's worth of groceries. mark says, it means i can afford to buy my prescriptions without having to sacrifice the health of myself and my family.
>> reporter: here in herald a square people are checking items off the gift lists, many unaware that next month there could be less money to pay them and that could put a damper on the holiday spirit for some. congress, they argue, is the grinch.
>> that's 3.5% to 4% of my income alone. it's going to affect quite a lot.
>> it means a lot to me.
>> reporter: you did a girls' trip? sharon brought her girls to new york from virginia and she's frustrated with washington gridlock.
>> they talk fair but they don't act fair.
>> reporter: for some long e-term unemployed the clock is ticking. with no action, 2.5 million jobless could lose a critical safety net by february. ten days to go. patience is wearing thing across the country. in miami --
>> i'm squeezing hard right now. i have car insurance , rent.
>> reporter: in atlanta where a single mom looks for work.
>> come walk a day in my shoes trying to get a job.
>> reporter: a walk that could be more taxing in the new year. ron mott, nbc news,