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MORE FEDERAL FAT TO TRIM

SHARE MORE FEDERAL FAT TO TRIM

Though the federal budget is still awash in oceans of red ink, Washington still insists on throwing good money after bad.

As the latest cases in point, take this week's misguided efforts by Congress to breathe continued life into two multimillion-dollar operations that long ago outlived their usefulness, if they ever had any.House and Senate negotiators agreed to give the U.S. Information Agency $21 million to continue broadcasts into Cuba by the agency's TV and Radio Marti. Yet there's little or nothing Cubans can learn about America from these U.S. government stations that they can't hear on the commercial radio and TV stations in Florida whose powerful signals have long reached Cuba.

Meanwhile, the Government Printing Office is seeking a fresh infusion of funds to make up a $5 million deficit. The deficit could rise to $20.3 million in fiscal 1995 simply because more and more federal agencies are taking Vice President Gore's advice: They are becoming more competitive by doing their own printing or farming it out to commercial printers.

The GPO has long been a scandalous waste because it is overstaffed, pays wages well above those of private printers and consequently charges higher rates than private firms do. But Congress keeps funding the GPO anyway.

In any event, remember the GPO and Radio-TV Marti the next time federal officials insist the U.S. budget already has been reduced as much as it possibly can be and can't be trimmed further without slicing muscle and bone.