With the fall election just around the corner, we'd like to give our top 20 reasons why Bernie Ebbers should run for president. (Yes, we know he's from Canada - but this is our column, not yours.)20. He'd win on the slogan: "Read my lips: No new universal service fund taxes."
19. To hide the huge national debt, he'd acquire Canada - and refer to the action as organic growth.
18. He would merge the U.S. with the rest of North and South America, and then spin off Mexico, claiming it is a "slow growth nation."
17. He'd merge the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, arguing this would result in an 18% better return on taxpayer investment.
16. He'd merge the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and U.S. Marines into the "just-keep-them-out-of-my-office" brigade and write it off as a business expense.
15. He would immediately sign Executive Order 178675, which states that production, ownership or use of WinZip or any other software application that reduces file sizes, and thereby limits the amount of bandwidth used, would be considered a treasonous act, punishable by six month's service in a tech support role to be named later.
14. He would contribute to the surplus by turning the basement of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. into a carrier hotel - complete with signs saying, "If you steal the White House bathrobes while servicing your gear, you will be charged for them."
13. Instead of negotiating settlements among disagreeing factions, he'd simply make them work in the same organization, saying, "May the best man win."
12. The State of the Union address would become a 15-minute voice conference call with a deluge of follow-up press releases.
11. He'd dig up the front yard and lay fiber to light the National Christmas Tree.
10. Defending his administration after a three-day service outage, he would first claim there is no outage, then hide for 48 hours and finally blame it on Iraq.
9. The Gross National Product would be based on investors' expected return on investment.
8. He'd change the currency slogan to "In God do we not antitrust."
7. Students would recite daily, "IP ledge allegiance to the frame of The UUNET States of WorldCom..."
6. Generation D would be declared a new demographic category on the census.
5. The IRS would have broadband access to your tax records.
4. John Sidgmore would be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
3. He'd pardon Microsoft Corp. No, wait - that'd be if Bill Gates were elected.
2. Al Gore would now get to claim he invented WorldCom Inc.
1. The U.S. would finally have a president who knows how to "slam" Saddam Hussein.
Briere is CEO and Gage is vice president of TeleChoice Inc., a telecom market strategy consultancy. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.