The Dec. 29 editorial “Taken for a ride” provided a glimpse into one of the major problems in our country. You might call it competitive government benefits.  

Now that the Treasury has been opened for any and all “needs,” the primary function of the federal government is to determine who is the most deserving of benefits. The Post asked: Shouldn’t we (federal taxpayers) subsidize mass-transit commuters at least as much as we do driving commuters? While the editorial did nod to the question of whether government should be helping workers pay for their commutes, the reality is that federal subsidies, once enacted, rarely are reduced or taken away. One can always point to some other, presumably less deserving, recipient of even greater handouts.

If state and local governments want to provide transportation incentives, let them decide to finance them. There is much wisdom in the Constitution, if we ever choose to pay attention to it.

Steve Cylke, Arlington

Ben Bazian [letters, Dec. 30] doesn’t think drivers should have to subsidize construction of the Metrorail line to Dulles. I wonder if he considered all the subsidies that Metro riders pay to support drivers, including costs associated with building and maintaining roads and bridges, air pollution, emergency medical services for accidents, police, courts and the loss of commercial space and accompanying tax revenue to accommodate all those parked cars. Metro users subsidize auto owners, not vice versa.

W.C. Banta, Chevy Chase