The reason why the form is so long is that the government uses tax policy to influence other economic actions by the taxpayers. There are credits for all sorts of things the government wants to encourage or discourage.
Its the “Golden Rule”
He who has the Gold makes the rules
Not many deductions or exemptions in there for regular working folk
Actually, there are quite a few.
IRA deductions, charitable deductions, union dues deductions, mortgage interest deductions, medical deductions, state and local tax deductions, etc.