Fiorina’s Tax Filing Plan

Carly The Downsizer

Carly Fiorina says she can cut the income tax code to 3 pages and press the IRS down to size. Based on her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she certainly has a talent for downsizing—like a “Queen Midas Touch” for turning gold into cotton.

She is contemptuous of providing details about downsizing the US Tax Code or simplifying tax filing. She suggests using her website to get answers and ask questions. But consistent with her public comments, her website leaves details to our imaginations. Let’s imagine how Fiorina could cut tax filing to 3 pages:

Page 1 begins by telling taxpayers that President Fiorina, by Executive Order, has (a) shrunk the IRS to 1,000 part-timers that can work no more than 35 hours a week and (b) is asking all taxpayers to be on the honor system for reporting income.

Page 2 is for ordinary taxpayers whose tax rate will be 15% of total income. On line one a taxpayer enters her or his income. On line two that number is multiplied by 15%. The taxpayer writes a check for the result and mails it by April 15.

Page 3 is for corporations whose tax rate will be 20%. Although on the honor system, they must attach a supporting document—like an organization’s annual report or a short note summarizing income and expenses. State the income and multiply by 20%.

That’s it! In just 3 pages, Simplicity vanquishes Complexity. Fiorina occasionally uses IRS numbers that she should have a staffer clarify: Are there 26,000 or 73,000 IRS employees? She has used them both ways–although she may have confused the number of pages in the US Tax Code with the number of employees at the IRS. Anyway, those are numbers she’ll melt down to a manageable few.

If you doubt a President Fiorina could pull this off, check with the Hewlett Packard board that fired her for exuberant—and possibly unintended—downsizing or the HP stockholders whose money she lost or the HP employees downsized out of their jobs. They can supply details missing from her website.




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