The 2016 presidential election is 20 months away. Sadly, for those of us who don’t watch C-SPAN for fun, that basically means it’s right around the corner. (Keep a sharp eye out for negative campaign ads, coming soon to a TV near you!) Candidates are already lining up donors and hustling voters in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. If it seems like some of them have been running since the end of the last election, it’s probably because they have.

Americans like promoting military heroes to the White House. George Washington won the Revolutionary War and became the “father of his country” before assuming the Presidency. Ulysses S. Grant won the Civil War, and did it with a cocktail permanently occupying a space in his hand, too. Dwight D. Eisenhower defeated the Nazis. (Of course, generals who aim to become Commander-in-Chief usually do need to win a war first, as Alexander Haig found out the hard way in 1988.)

Now there’s a candidate who’s ready to wage war on an enemy we can all unite against — America’s crazy and convoluted tax system. On March 5, Mark Everson announced he was throwing his green eyeshade into the ring and running for the Republican nomination. Not familiar with the name? Well, from 2003 to 2007, Everson served as 46th Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Oh yeah . . . that Mark Everson!

Everson, 60, graduated from Yale University before launching a career that has taken him from business to government and back to business again. In 2003, George W. Bush nominated him for the IRS position, which he held for four years. He left to become President and CEO of the American Red Cross, and now he’s vice-chairman for a tax consulting company.

Why is Everson running? He says he wants to make federal tax laws more consistent and less complex. (Where have we heard that before?) He would replace that tax for lower-income earners with a value-added tax. “He also says he wants to restructure entitlement programs, including Social Security; set a military draft and system of national service; and break up banks that are poorly managed,” the Associated Press reports.

And what does America’s former top tax collector think of his chances? He candidly admits he has less name recognition than the senators and governors eyeing a race. But he appears entirely serious about his run and plans to pour $250,000 of his own money into the race. “They’re raising serious money, but we’re going to raise serious issues,” he says. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe I’ve got a chance. I think that who becomes president is not up to Wall Street and the fat cats across the country. It’s up to the voters.”

Everson does have one stumble on his resume. In 2007, after six months helming the Red Cross, the board demanded his resignation after he confessed to an affair with a staffer. Everson divorced his wife and, while he hasn’t married his new love, the two are raising their six-year-old son together. “I’ve made mistakes, and I don’t think that that precludes one from going forward and trying to contribute,” he says. We’ll just have to see how closely the voters audit his behavior.

Time will tell whether Everson knows how to translate his IRS experience into a shot at the most powerful job in the world. But here’s one thing he knows for sure — if you want to pay less, you need a plan. So call us when you’re ready for your plan. We’re sure you’ll enjoy your savings, whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or anything in between!

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