Should people without children have to pay taxes to fund schools?

Are older people really a greater drain on health insurance than young families with lots of young children?

Should government bring back the mandatory age 70 retirement rule?

Are federal layoffs -- supposedly designed to cut costs and keep the best -- really elitist and uneconomical?

Is Uncle Sam really the fringe benefit king?

These are some of the issues raised by our Monday Morning Quarterbacks.

You may not agree with our letter writers. But what they think ought to make you think. "I have read proposals to raise health premiums for retirees because they're 'heavy-users.' But I've never seen data to support this claim. Having raised a family, it is difficult to believe a retiree's health costs exceed a young couple just starting a family.

"Possibly you could devote a column to comparative health costs by age group. Nursing home care, I believe, should be excluded since this item is not covered by most plans.

"It bothers me that these statements are constantly being made without supporting data. It is similar to statements about the alleged $42 million cost of the trial {of Mayor Marion Barry} when actual estimates are about $2 million.

"If the idea is to charge groups that benefit from a service, then most retirees should be exempt from paying state and local school taxes since they no longer have children in the system." William B. Overstreet Annapolis

"Amidst all the rhetoric . . . regarding early retirement, nowhere have I heard or seen any reference made to restoration of the mandatory {age 70} retirement rule.

" . . . there are numerous cases of persons over age 70 who are still 'on board' at places like the National Institutes of Health and other agencies.

"With bright young people rising through the ranks, these septuagenarians . . . should be asked to leave gracefully." Concerned Taxpayer Bethesda

"With reference to your columns about early retirements and . . . reductions-in-force in federal agencies.

"Congress should pass a bill temporarily eliminating the penalty for workers who retire under age 55. There would be no need for the bonuses proposed in the bill by Rep. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

"Regarding the proposed RIFs {layoffs}. I can't see any equity here, because RIFs always affect the rank-and-file employees, while the top-heavy management positions are untouched. So it's usually a sacrifice of the many for a few." W.J.M. Brookville

"I disagree with the July 16 letter {that implied that the 'pay gap' would disappear if federal fringe benefits were compared with industry's}. A few years ago I interviewed with a defense contractor for a job similar to my government job. The vacations, pension plan, etc., were comparable, and the company paid every penny of benefit costs. Had I gone to work for them at the same salary it would have been a $5,000 per year raise in my take-home pay." M.K. Annandale