Regarding the Dec. 7 news article “Administration has no intention of putting brakes on rail project”:

Why, in these tough economic times, is it okay to fund some portion of a $68 billion high-speed rail line that will benefit a small portion of our population? Why do we continue to spend tax dollars collected from across the country on area-specific projects? That kind of spending helped to get us into our current fiscal situation. If California’s taxpayers want high-speed rail, let California’s taxpayers build high speed-rail.

I choose to live in Arlington, and I pay my taxes here for good schools, roads and transportation, emergency services and other services that make Arlington an attractive area. I shouldn’t be taxed to build a county road in the Midwest, a library in the Northeast or a high-speed rail line in California. I want my federal tax dollars spent on issues of major national interest.

Andy LaVigne, Arlington

We’re falling off the “fiscal cliff,” and the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney cost a combined $2 billion [“Blitz of last-minute donations fueled huge spending in 2012 races,” news article, Dec. 7]. I have a great idea for starting off the new year on the right foot: Cancel the inauguration. Since Barack Obama has been the president for the past four years, why does he need another inauguration? I know it’s a tradition, but some traditions should be changed.

Roz Clark, West River, Md.