There are 100,000 federal and military retirees in the Washington area and most of them, judging from mail and phone calls, are bitter over the last-minute congressional action that canceled their 3.1 percent January cost-of-living adjustment.
The adjustment was canceled when the Gramm-Rudman- Hollings bill was signed into law, and retirees now are unlikely to get their next adjustment until January 1987 -- or even later.
Here's what some readers are saying about that -- and about the way this column covers the federal scene:
*"You should be tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail for the unfair treatment you continue to dish out to U.S. government employes and retirees. You are very clever at misrepresenting the real problems . . . by ostensibly giving unbiased factual reporting and neglecting to report the true situation, ignoring for the most part the correspondence you have invited.
"You even use your Monday Morning Quarterback column to shove the knife in deeper and give it a twist, even using employes and retiree comments to their disadvantage and to further your own biased views -- your own and those of The Washington Post, the tax-free foundations, the so-called think tanks, including the half-witted Grace Commission crowd.
"When you retire, I hope your employer, and the rest of the crowd, really dump on you good. Also that you kick off soon after the statistical two-year span in which federal retirees are supposed to quit the retirement rolls.
"One good thing to come from the new budget law is that we will be spared hearing the old canard that retirees' annuities are fully and continually adjusted upward to compensate for the increase in the cost of living, but of course you will now assert that it had been." Yours truly, W.S.D., Arlington.
*"I'm taking this opportunity to express thanks and appreciation for your interest in the matter of health insurance premium refunds. It further reflects your long concern with the interests of federal employes and retirees. Happy holidays!" B.L.D.
*"I am upset about the congressional injustice . . . that has once again eliminated the cost-of-living adjustment for federal retirees.
"I believe there are many federal retirees who would like to take some action to protest this latest, vindictive and unfair action. We would like . . . suggestions on what to do, or how to appeal or what groups are on our side . . . or any approach that has helped in the past to get Congress to repeal this latest action.
"Maybe we can't correct the situation but we certainly could let Congress and the public know that it is unjust and that federal retirees are being treated as a minority group that doesn't have enough voting power clout to protect itself. In comparison, the Social Security retirees who represent a much larger voting body have not had their cost-of-living adjustment denied to them." D.R., Springfield.
*"I'm distressed by the congressional action that eliminates the cost-of-living raise for federal and military retirees. The benefits of Congress, however, go on. I refer to the free parking at National and Dulles airports and the congressional attempt to exclude themselves from the pension tax change they approved for other federal workers.
"Actions such as these are disgraceful and cause loss of faith in the highest legislative body in the country. Congress, as a group, should be ashamed of itself." E.W.L., Gaithersburg