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'Humane' Clinton cuts would net $13.1 billion

THE BALTIMORE SUN

WASHINGTON -- With a vow to slash the cost of government without resorting to "a mean spirit or a meat ax," President Clinton announced yesterday another set of spending cuts in federal agencies.

Mr. Clinton said the latest reductions would save $13.1 billion and eliminate nearly 5,000 federal jobs over the next five years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Small Business Administration, the Interior Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Department of the Interior will turn over to Maryland and Virginia parkways now maintained at federal expense -- the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the George Washington and Clara Barton parkways, and the Suitland Parkway. The U.S. government will contribute to their maintenance over the next three years and then phase out the payments.

The savings would be used to help pay for Mr. Clinton's $60 billion middle-class tax cut, which he announced in December to counter Republican tax-reduction proposals.

Mr. Clinton said that his streamlining efforts are more "humane and decent," and more realistic than those of his GOP rivals. He noted that his government-cutting plans would preserve summer jobs programs, subsidized school lunches and the national service corps, all targets of Republican budget-cutters on Capitol Hill.

The newest cuts would be deepest at NASA, which would lose $8 billion and 2,000 jobs over the next five years.

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