I find it very distressing that Congress is still even considering the superconducting supercollider at all {"Report on Supercollider Cost Delayed," Aug. 17}. The SSC is perhaps the most blatant example of pork-barrel politics that our illustrious national "leaders" have contemplated in the past decade.

With the U.S. Treasury technically bankrupt and the nation in hopeless debt, how can any reasonable fiscal manager(s) consider spending an estimated $5 billion additional dollars of taxpayers' money on a 52-mile-long tunnel filled with magnets whose sole purpose is to answer some very abstract, academic questions concerning subatomic particle physics and unified field theory.

Most Americans haven't the slightest idea what a quark is. They are understandably more interested in putting food on the table and breathing clean air. The SSC may make a few quantum physicists happy, but it will have no other practical benefits. It will not provide any useful products or services to the American public. It is not research that will spawn a new generation of labor-saving devices or identify new alternative energy sources. The megabillions it will cost will not even address, let alone solve, the nation's housing crisis, transportation mess or decaying urban infrastructure. It will not provide shelter for the homeless, clean up the environment, reduce drug abuse, educate America's youth, reduce the budget deficit or improve the American economy. In fact, it will not even benefit America's scientific community, since a large portion of funds required for the Supercollider will most probably be siphoned from the truly beneficial R&D projects that the federal government helps to fund.

We have become a nation governed by partisan pork brokers, all maneuvering for a slice of the federal pie, and we are going broke in the process. The SSC is a prime example of such negligent waste. FRANK M. GREGORIO Manassas