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Provenzo Takes an Issues Survey
[April 29, 2003]

By Nicholas Provenzo

I am a Republican. I chose to be a Republican because in our current political climate, and compared to the alternatives, I judge the Republican Party to offer the best defense of my values. That said, the Republican Party infuriates me. As someone who is intellectually committed to the principle of individual rights, I find that so many in the Republican Party get it wrong, if I were to dwell on it for long, it would drive me silly.

So you can imagine my joy today when I received a fundraising letter from the Republican Party. How will they infuriate me this time, I asked myself, as the Republican Party, writing on behalf of none other than President George W. Bush, requested my generous financial assistance?

Now I'm a firm believer that every good political fundraising letter ought to include some sort of gimmick, and my favorite is the infamous “push-pull” issues survey. The more leading the questions, the better. Thankfully, the letter I received did not disappoint. So today, as a public service, I took the “Presidential Victory Team Issues Survey” and will now share the results with you, my loyal readers. And I'll even write out my position beyond just answering "yes," "no" or "undecided."

Presidential Victory Team Issues Survey

INSTRUCTIONS: Please candidly answer each of the following questions as completely as possible. Use a pencil or pen to darken the appropriate box for each answer.

  1. Do you support making the 2001 Bush tax cuts permanent?

ANSWER: Yes, yes, and hell yes. And while we are at it, could we please reduce spending to match. Please—I asked nicely.

  1. Do you support elimination of capital gains taxes on the sale of investments held for 24 months or longer.

ANSWER: Yes. Although it’s been a long time since I’ve had any capital that has gained (actually, I’ve never had any capital that gained. I haven’t quite yet figured out how to get rich advancing capitalism). But when I am rich, I’m going to want to save some of it, and I think it kind of stinks that the Feds would want to get their sticky mitts on my savings.

  1. Do you support tort reform to reign in out of control trial lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits costing American businesses and consumers millions of dollars and thousands of jobs?

ANSWER: Out of control trial lawyers? You don’t have to ask me twice—Yes! Give them Ritalin and put reasonable caps on punitive damages. And shouldn’t that be billions of dollars?  I think its millions of dollars that trial lawyers donate to Democrats. You might have gotten confused.

  1. Should CEO’s and Members of the Board of Directors of publicly traded corporations be held personally and criminally responsible for the financial management and activities of their companies.

ANSWER:  No. Not until politicians are held personally and criminally responsible for the financial management and activities of the government. In the interim, people who are too lazy to read an annual report and too dimwitted to realize that you don’t bet the farm on an investment you don’t understand should at least be held out as examples of how not to live.

  1. Do you favor passage of a federal ban on so called “partial-birth” abortions?

ANSWER:  No. A fetus is a fetus and it does not have any rights until it is a kid. And a kid is not a kid until he's outside the womb. So there.

  1. Do you support allowing faith based charities to have an expanded role in administering certain welfare benefits to those in need?

ANSWER: Need? Mr. Smuckatelli, (pausing for a deep, deep, breath) When is one person’s neeeeeeeed a mortgage on the life of another? I don’t think there is any such circumstance. So I have an idea: let’s get rid of welfare. The corporate stuff too. Finite. No mas. It’s over.

  1. Should the federal government dictate spending priorities for local school districts?

ANSWER: No, because I have this slight small problem with local school districts in that I think the government should be out of the education business all together. Justification for my position, you ask? Well, just go back to slum high where I got my start in Buffalo. Stay a while—take in the mood of the place—watch the brain cells die. And then marvel at how much it costs and just who gets stuck paying for it all.

  1. Do you support mandatory achievement testing to hold schools (k-12) accountable for teaching basic subjects?

ANSWER: More on the public schools, eh? Sure. But how about we go one better: we eliminate the property tax for education, allow parents to choose whatever school they want for the offspring they chose to bring into this world and let them pay for it accordingly. That works for every other product or service. Why not education? No, really. Why not?

  1. Do you support President Bush’s efforts to provide comprehensive prescription drug coverage to seniors in need?

ANSWER: Always with the “need.” No. Federalizing the prescription drug industry will kill pharmaceutical research and innovation in a matter of years. And don’t give me any of that “Soylent Green is people” stuff. I don’t see any old people lining up to make my rent payment or put a new transmission in my car. I like to actually keep what little money I earn, thank you.

  1. Do you support President Bush’s efforts to forge a bi-partisan agreement to protect and strengthen Social Security?

ANSWER: You shouldn’t tell me these things because it only upsets me. No, no a thousand times no. Social Security is the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of humanity. I say we cut our losses, pay the poor saps who have been forced to put into it, and move on our our merry way. I’d like to actually enjoy my retirement. I could do a lot better on my own compared to having to forever pay the payroll tax.

  1. Are you in favor of accelerated efforts to develop and deploy a strategic missile defense system?

ANSWER: Heck, I’m still trying to figure out why we don’t have one already. Certainly, there are some people I could live without on the West Coast, but I’m not about to have them incinerated by a North Korean nuclear missile.

  1. Which do you believe is more important given the state of the world today: Balancing the federal budget, modernizing our nation’s military equipment and expanding its capabilities, or no opinion?

ANSWER: I just saved you a ton on money by abolishing all welfare and getting the government out of the education business. Any reason you can’t lower taxes, lower spending, and still fund the military as it ought to be funded? Geeze. You would think this was hard stuff or something.

  1. Are you in favor of closing some bases and reducing the number of troops stationed in Europe?

ANSWER: Amen! Let the Euro-trash defend themselves. France is past due for another surrender, isn’t it?

  1.  What are the most important issues facing our nation? (Please rank 1-10, with “1” being most in need of attention.
  1. Other: Limiting government to its #$%^*@# proper mission (Hey, they gave me an “other,” so I took it)

  2. Reducing Taxes: (and while you are at it, cut spending. And not just a little bit)

  3. Stopping hostile nations from acquiring weapons of mass destruction: (That’s kind of a gimmie.)

  4. Homeland Security: (Just loose the “Total Information Awareness” stuff. The logo alone gives me the creeps)

  5. Regulatory Reform: (Hey, I know a little about this one. I’d be happy if they just responded intelligently to one of our comment letters.)

  6. Job Creation: (Jobs are good. But you have to get the government out of the way.)

  7. Affordable Heath Care: (laissez-faire would be nice. And moral. And a host of other good things)

  8. Improving Public Education: (Puh-leeze! See the above bit on laissez-faire.)

  9. Protecting Social Security: (I’m staring to get irritated.)

  10. Protecting the Environment: (Now you’ve done it. Please see everything I have ever written about environmentalism. Then get back to me.)

I feel better, now haven taken the Republican “Presidential Victory Team Issues Survey” in that I have shared my answers with you, my loyal public. Perhaps if enough of us take such surveys and give them the attention they deserve, we would have a better America. Hope springs eternal.

 

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