Just because you can use genetic optimization to modify the tax code doesn't make it optimal to do so.
If you want to reform the tax system, reform it. Don't simply take the current mess and reduce complexity slightly. Because if you do, all those accountants out there would have to study the new system. There would be huge mistakes. Remember that in any given year, the tax code doesn't change that much. To suddenly release a computer-generated 5000 page tax code would be a huge, expensive shock to the system.
No, a radical change to the tax code must be a radical simplification, or you can't afford to do it.
I agree with the common sentiment (@bryan1945) that taxes should be drastically simplified. But there is a definite reason for deductions. It isn't fair to tax you on money you don't have, and for example, a company may take in lots of cash but have to spend money on R&D. The travesty is that companies are far better able to deduct than people. If Intel gets to deduct for R&D, the notion that people don't get to deduct for a degree program is absurd. And of course, there is all sorts of special one-off legislation protects specific kinds of companies and individuals. But the notion that deductions are somehow evil is not really a good idea.
The mortgage deduction has been criticized for simply encouraging too much home ownership. It is in the interest of the government to promote home ownership because it makes for stable prospering communities. On the other hand, an unlimited home deduction supports ever-bigger houses. However, in the current housing climate, no one wants to kick housing, because it's unclear just how much further prices might fall as a result, and we have enough problems in that sector already. The mortgage deduction is hugely skewed in favor of the rich of course -- the more your house is worth, the greater your deduction. One idea is to cap the mortgage deduction, so you only encourage minimal home buying.
Another proposal from a couple of congressmen caps deductions to 2%. I don't know about the percentage, but it's a reasonable idea. You have a basic standard deduction, and if you exceed that, you can itemize, but only claim up to a fixed percentage. That would force people to take the best deductions -- want to install solar to your house? You can, if that's the best economic course this year, but you can't deduct for something else at the same time. It would force you to pick and choose (or pay for it yourself).
The fundamental unfairness is that corporations play by completely different rules. But it's not trivial to clear that up. Should Intel, or drug companies, be taxed on their gross when they spend billions in R&D? It's not fair, because in a business like grocery stores, there is no R&D. Why shouldn't they be allowed to deduct their legitimate expenses? But the minute you agree that makes sense, definition of "legitimate" gets hazy. The system starts getting abused, which is why we have million dollar parties for the sales staff, the chairman flying in a private jet after retirement, all the abuses that we hear about. I don't have a solution, but it isn't a simple problem.
And Bryan, if you only spend 4 hours a year on your taxes, you're very, very lucky.