OK, so let's go through your bullets.
First, Romney has been touting a revenue-neutral restructuring of the tax code since the primaries, so saying you just learned it last night seems odd to me.
That said, lowering rates and eliminating deductions makes perfect sense since it puts incentive back where it belongs...to work harder and earn more to put in your pocket...instead of where it is now, which is to spend your extra earnings on government-approved things in order to gain a deduction.
Taken to its extreme, would you prefer a high tax rate with a bunch of deductions written into a labrynthine code, or a low flat tax rate with no deductions at all?
I combined these two because I think you have too. The acid test Romney used was if a program isn't worth borrowing from the Chinese to fund, it would be eliminated. PBS seems pretty clear under that formula. Obamacare definitely. Free cell phones? Yep.
But the big drivers are SS, Medicare, and Medicaid. On its current trajectory it's going to go BK. The question is actually how do we get these things working until we can actually cut them off?
I just heard him flat out say he will a) repeal Obamacare and b) devolve the issue back to the states where it belongs (he even brought up the 10A.
It isn't that he doesn't like it, just that he apparently doesn't believe the Federal Government has a role in pouring venture capital down that hole. I don't think that's an unreasonable opinion.
The federal behemoth has had many many many years to get momentum. To expect it to get cut down to nothing in the space of a presidential term is unrealistic.
To me, the main issue revolves around what to do with SS, Medicare, and Medicaid. It's not politically feasible to just cut it all to nothing. That's the sad fact. So the conversation is how can we shore up these programs until the Overton Window shifts and then get rid of them? To me the answer is to grow our way out of this current hole we've been in for four years now (Romney's tax structure changes is a reasonable component to that), begin to hammer home the idea that
Because Romney is right...there is a sizeable bloc of people out there who think government exists to give them stuff. Once in office he's got to figure out a way to get them on a path to empowerment, probably against their wills, and make them see that a life of self-sufficiency is much better than a life of dependency. And again, this is a long term project but it's something we really need to get started on now.