Tom DeLay: Tax Cuts, Faith to Prevent Apophis Asteroid Collision

Washington, D.C., February 22, 2027 -- U.S. President Tom DeLay, responding to growing public concern over the potentially imminent catastrophic impact with the earth of the asteroid known as 99942 Apophis, announced yesterday a bold new plan to deflect the problem using the two time-tested cornerstones of the GOP agenda: tax cuts for the wealthy, and faith-based initiatives.

The 99942 Apophis asteroid, a thousand-foot diameter clump of ice and rock, has been tracked for decades as it pursued its slow, regular orbit, which intersects with that of the earth's roughly every six years. Its next close pass will be on April 13, 2029. Based on the latest data, the likelihood that the asteroid will actually impact the earth's surface on that date is now estimated to be as high as 80%, a near-certainty.

Due to the asteroid's sizeable diameter, this could prove devastating to the impact site. The asteroid is large enough to wipe out a state the size of Texas, or a comparably-sized civilized country. The damage in the latter event could be catastrophic, scientists estimate.

Scientists and lawmakers have been wrangling for nearly 30 years over the problem of how to prevent such a scenario from occurring, but have as yet been unable to reach a consensus on the most appropriate course of action.

Proposals have included a suggestion that "Star Wars" technology, the $300 billion missile shield begun during the George W. Bush administration, be aimed and fired at the approaching asteroid, but critics point out that the missile shield has never successfully shot down anything larger or faster-moving than a Goodyear blimp, and in any event is as yet less than half finished.

Others have suggested dispatching a space capsule piloted by disposable prisoners who could be tasked with planting an atomic device deep within the asteroid, but this too has proven unfeasible due to the breakdown of contract negotiations with Bruce Willis. Time, meanwhile, is rapidly running out.

President Tom DeLay's announcement this morning therefore came as a great relief to many. The so-called Apophis Amelioration Plan proposed by DeLay would deflect the asteroid through the use of the two primary tools in the Republican toolbox: lower taxes, and sops to the religious right.

The first prong of the attack would be a 35% tax cut for the wealthiest 1% in the United States. This, according to DeLay, would stimulate industry and investment and "make the time we have left" more agreeable, at least to those who receive the cuts. The cuts would be offset by major reductions in less vital federal services such as Medicaid, environmental protection, food stamps, and asteroid tracking and collision prevention.

The second prong is a raft of new federally-funded "faith-based initiatives" designed to coax Apophis off its collision course with the earth through the power of "prayer, bigotry, intolerance, and positive thinking". Funding for the initiatives will be available to all faith-based organizations that accept Jesus Christ as the One True Lord. Members of other religious affiliations will be involuntarily relocated to the predicted Apophis impact site at no cost.

"I dodged a bullet back in 2005 when I was indicted on a whole passel of trumped-up ethics and money-laundering charges," said the aging President DeLay. "After doing time back then and rejoining society as a former convict, here I am in the White House, and I owe it all to positive thinking. Also to a little help from my friends in the Senate who helped get rid of that No Felony clause in the rules governing who gets to be president. Anyway, I believe that together, Earth can dodge this bullet."

President DeLay said the tax cuts will be retroactive to January 1 of last year and will be effective immediately. He also announced the first monthly national day of "Apophis-deflecting Christian prayer" to be held on March 2.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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