While the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 offered some certainty in the final hour, the headache is not over, according to George K. Yin, Professor of Law and Taxation at the University of Virginia School of Law. Yin, who served as the chief of staff of the U.S. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation from 2003 to 2005, shares his thoughts with Associate Editor Mason Braswell on what the deal means for the economy and how the tax debate could play out in 2013

1. How do you define the two sides of this debate? The most recent fiscal cliff deal may reflect the fact that there is precious little difference in the views of the administration on one hand and the Republicans in Congress on the other. If you believe the rhetoric and the reality, both sides agree on the need for the reduced income tax rates that were first initiated by the second President Bush in 2001. Those were extended and now have been made permanent going forward. The only difference is for a very tiny sliver of the upper-income population—less than the top 1%—where the rates will go up almost a minimal amount of three to four percentage points. That was the basic debate between these two sides, and ultimately the President's side prevailed. And the President did compromise by allowing the rates to go up for a smaller sliver than he campaigned on.

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