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US asks Microsoft exec to gum up tax code
UnFair and UnBalanced
Friday, June 22, 2018, 11:01:UTC)(
22 April 2011
Microsoft executive Ron Markezich, speaking to a technology blog of the Wall Street Journal, said that, "Every dollar you spend on software from Microsoft, you spend $6 trying to get it to do anything." The astonishing statement was later picked up by an incredulous Business Insider and carried on Yahoo! Finance.
Granted, Mr. Markezich is the liaison to Microsoft resellers, and was merely saying that, by add-ons such as Pakistani help desks, these partners can make up the money they can't make by jacking up the price of Windows. However, the statement struck a chord with Microsoft users. Ever since MS-DOS, users have spent six times the purchase price to get the code to work. (Since the introduction of Windows, they have instead spent fourteen times the purchase price trying to get the output to be prettier.)
Mr. Markezich's audacious admission has gotten him a job offer from the U.S. Government. Speaker of the House John Boehner said, "Try as we might to lard up the tax code with inscrutable special-interest favors, we have failed to make it cost the taxpayer any more than $1.40 to pay $1.00 of tax. Ron has the skills to help us improve this ratio."
President Obama had been in talks with his protégé, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, who has gotten it to cost the state $2.40 to collect $1.00 of tolls. But Mr. Obama was impressed with Mr. Markezich's $6.00 figure, and said he could become a czar to bypass Senate confirmation. Mr. Obama agreed in the notorious budget deal to fire four czars, but he says, "I sure didn't agree not to appoint new ones."
Czar Markezich of the Department of Chicanery would have trouble reinstating the law forcing businessmen to tell the IRS of every trip to Staples that might total $600 in the year. That rule, hidden in the health care reform, is opposed by everyone in Congress who wants to tell constituents he voted to "repeal Obama-care" without actually doing so.
But the Czar said he has an even better idea: Make everyone earning more than $250,000 a year file their taxes in person in Washington, D.C. "It is high time the government stopped doing favors for millionaires and billionaires," he said. He says he will have the administration's support; during the 2008 campaign, ABC-TV reporter Charlie Gibson warned Mr. Obama that burdening rich taxpayers might lower payments, but candidate Obama defended it as "fairness," and Joe Biden told another ABC reporter, "It's time to be patriotic."
Czar Markezich said that, if the file-in-person rule does not burden the upper class, he will require them to fill out Form 1040 not with a writing instrument but by cutting the numerals out of the paper with toenail scissors.
- Arik Hesseldahl "Microsoft’s Ron Markezich Gets Seven Questions". All Things Digital (WSJ), April 18, 2011
- Matt Rosoff "Microsoft Sales Exec Slams The Company's Own Software". Business Insider, April 21, 2011