Eliminating all the loopholes in the tax code, including the mortgage deduction and exemption for employer-provided health care, would generate $1.3 trillion of revenue annually, according to Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation.
Now you're talking real money.
You're also talking pipe dream.
* No. 3: A big tent is better.
Who folded Ronald Reagan's Big Tent, which could accommodate Arlen Specter and Rick Perry, Olympia Snowe and Michele Bachmann?
Now RINOs - Republicans in Name Only - aren't welcome.
Polls confirm that the United States is still a center-right nation. Surely Republicans understand that center-right is left of hard right.
So many people are turned off by conservatives' hard-line positions on gay marriage and abortion that they vote Democratic on that basis alone.
Centrist Republicans, like centrist Democrats, are a dying breed. The party that wants to ban government from the boardroom should think twice before inviting it into the bedroom.
* No. 4: Made in America isn't made for Americans.
Everyone remembers when free-trader George W. Bush succumbed to politics and slapped tariffs on various steel imports in 2002 to help domestic producers - not to mention his re-election prospects in certain steel-producing states.
Romney has accused Obama of being a wuss when it comes to China's unfair trade practices and says he will declare China a currency manipulator on day one, the first step in imposing tariffs on imports.
Bad idea, and Romney knows it.
Protectionism hurts consumers, who end up paying higher prices. Centuries after the benefits of free trade were outlined by David Ricardo and Adam Smith, politicians are still drawn to the magic of mercantilism.
* No. 5: About that pledge never to raise taxes.
One of the more memorable moments of the Republican primary debates took place at Iowa State University on Aug. 11, 2011.
The moderator asked the candidates if they would reject a deal that included $1 of tax increases for every $10 of spending cuts.
All eight raised their handS.
Everyone who has worked with Romney talks about his strengths as an executive, his ability to get things done.
As chief executive of USA Inc., if Romney had a deficit-reduction agreement on the table with a 10-1 trade-off, I bet he would take it and double down.
Baum, author of "Just What I Said," is a Bloomberg View columnist.