Rudy's gone and now I'm really depressed.
It's winter, you see, a rough time for the self-employed. It's rough because our 1099s official records of how much our clients paid us the prior year arrive in the mail.
My 1099s always add up to more than I thought they would. That means my taxes will be higher than I thought they would be, and that depresses me.
And because I'll have to organize and record hundreds of receipts that I keep in a giant box a task that will take countless hours I get even more depressed.
But Rudy was going to save me from such woes. His tax-reform plan was the best thing to come down the pike since home-delivered pizza and twist-off beer caps.
Like all the Republican candidates, Rudy was going to extend Bush's tax cuts. He was going to lower the capital-gains tax from 15 to 10 percent and the corporate-tax from 35 to 25 percent.
His ideas would have unleashed investment and economic growth, as lower taxes always do.
But the best part of the Rudy plan had a direct impact on ME: It would have given me the option to keep filing returns under our current nightmarish tax code or voluntarily switch to Rudy's highly simplified tax plan.
Rudy's voluntary plan had three tax brackets of 10, 15 and 30 percent. It provided basic deductions (health insurance, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local income taxes and a $3,500 personal exemption). It was so simple, it required only one piece of paper. An English major could complete it.
But Rudy is gone and his simplified tax plan is gone with him.
It's true all the Republican candidates have tax-reform ideas. According to the Tax Foundation, Ron Paul wants to abolish the IRS and slash spending.
Mike Huckabee wants to abolish the IRS, too, and replace the income tax with a national sales tax an idea sensible enough that it will never happen as long as we have a Congress.
But Paul and Huckabee have about as much chance of winning the Republican nomination as Teddy Kennedy.
That leaves us with Romney and McCain. Romney would cut the corporate tax rate and eliminate all taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for folks with incomes below $200,000. He says he'll simplify the tax code, but doesn't explain how.
Ditto for McCain. He says he'll keep Bush's tax cuts in place and simplify tax filing, too, but hasn't said how.
But at least Romney and McCain give lip service to simplification. The Democrat candidates don't even do that. They'd likely make things worse.
Hillary promises to raise taxes right out of the gate she'll repeal Bush's tax cuts on folks making over $250,000. She has lots of other ideas, but none that will simplify our taxes.
Obama will repeal Bush's tax cuts, too on the top 1 percent of income earners. He offers one idea to simplify taxes and it's a doozie. He'll have the IRS use your employer-provided financial information to "pre-populate" your tax-return form for you. It should take you only five minutes to complete the rest of your return, he promises.
Don't worry about the IRS making a mistake that you owe them a couple million, for instance. I'm sure you'll be able to clear up the matter with only a minimal amount of jail time.
That's why I've been depressed since Rudy dropped out of the presidential race.
If only he'd had a better strategy in the primaries, maybe he could have made it to the White House. I had visions of him cleaning up our burdensome tax code the way he did Times Square.
It's all pointless now.
Rudy's gone and his incredibly simple tax plan is gone with him. That means I'll spend countless miserable hours this winter and spring getting my tax affairs in order. I'll worry that a Democrat will win the presidency and that filing will be even harder next year.
Thanks for nothing, Rudy.