HARWOOD: Our audience knows the basics of your background but many don't have a fix on where you come from on some of the policy issues. When it comes to figuring out how to spend those last few dollars, more tax cuts or more deficit reduction?
FIORINA: Republicans have been talking about this in the wrong way forever. I'm not in favor of revenue-neutral tax reform. I'm in favor of revenue-reducing tax reform. The government spends too much money.
The only way to get a bureaucracy under control is to do two things. Give it less money—we haven't done that for 50 years. And know where every dollar's being spent. I am a prioritize-tax-dollars Republican.
We never prioritize. Why is it that the federal government spends more money every year and yet never has enough money to do anything important? The excuse always is, we can't secure the border. We need more money. We can't fund our military. We need more money. We can't do roads and bridges. We need more money. That is the classic symptom of a bureaucracy that never has to justify its spending.
We have to have lower rates. The government needs to take in less tax money, not more. There's only one way to cut deficits - actually, there are two ways, and they go hand in hand. Grow the economy, cut spending. But the only way you can grow the economy it to cut some of the spending that's going on.
HARWOOD: They've cut a lot out of domestic discretionary spending. The real money, if you talk to Republicans, is in entitlements. So, Social Security and Medicare?
FIORINA: I reject the premise of your question. There has not been real cutting going on. Every year, Senator Tom Coburn puts together a report of fraud, waste, abuse, corruption in the federal government. It adds up to a lot of money. Nobody ever does anything about it.
The professional political class—Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio among them, but certainly not limited to them—here's where they always fail us. How long have we been talking about entitlement reform? We talk about it every election. We talk about tax reform every election. And guess what? Nothing happens. There are binders full of great conservative ideas on how to reform Social Security and entitlements. And we will never get to it because the political class can't challenge the status quo.