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Monday, December 12

Magic Kingdom For Sale -- Sold!

WASHINGTON - The federal government was sold today to CompuGov, a high-tech consortium that includes IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Northern Telecom, Sony and several other corporate giants in Europe and Japan.

"It's the ultimate vindication of the Free Market philosophy," said a high-ranking Administration official. "This deal is the logical extension of lessons from the computer and telecommunications industries. What's government but the processing and transmission of information?"

Effective immediately, the popular vote was ended at the federal level. Instead Americans will be able to buy Stakeholder Shares. Those with sufficient numbers of Shares may attend CompuGov board meetings in Tokyo. Members of Congress each received 10,000 Stakeholder Shares and Golden Parachute protection - in addition to extra Shares reflecting the sizes of past campaign donations from Political Action Committees run by CompuGov members.

CompuGov announced the spin-off of most nondefense assets and the dismissal of 75 percent of the federal workforce. Tennessee entrepreneur Chris Whittle will buy the Department of Education, for example, while Humana will purchase the Department of Health and Human Services.

"We regret the need for downsizing," a CompuGov spokesperson said, "but education and health have been lacking as profit centers. "They just are not part of our corporate mission. Our role is simply to protect our customers against force and fraud."

Asked about the pending spin-off of the Securities and Exchange Commission to New York businessman John Gotti, the spokesperson said: "We must always be open to the wisdom of the Free Market. If Mr. Gotti can make the SEC more responsive to the needs of business, I see no reason why we could not also sell him the Justice Department."

Final negotiations are continuing between CompuGov and the individual states, with deals expected shortly. Only Massachusetts is balking.

"The consensus is that the Free Enterprise system is best," said the CompuGov spokesperson. "America's big mistake was in simply trying to get government out of the economy. The best solution is to get government out of government."

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