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To the editor:

I was pleasantly surprised to read the recent editorial in which you highlighted two flagrant examples of government waste.First, the Department of Veteran Affairs sends out $5.7 million in pensions to dead people. We can expect more of these costly mistakes because government bureaucracies cannot be designed to be efficient or accountable. We need to bear this in mind the next time someone proposes an expanded role for government - a frequent occurrence.

Even worse is the Department of Agriculture's $68 million expenditure to advertise for Sunkist Corp., Gallo Wines, McDonalds and other companies. I say ``worse' because this waste is not the result of bureaucratic ineptness but a sort of legal corruption that characterizes much of Congress' actions.

The companies get millions from the taxpayers. They can thus easily contribute thousands to congressmen to continue voting them favors.

Defense contractors, failing savings and loan, National Education Association, textile manufacturers, sugar producers, and many other special interest groups play the same game. Perhaps their arguments of being in the broad public interest are not as transparently spurious as Sunkist's in this instance - but they are usually spurious nonetheless.

Awareness of the inherent wastefulness and corruption of government is growing. Your mild editorial helps. But when will the media focus on these issues with the outrage they deserve? Will Ferrell High Point

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