The Post seems to be beating the drum for those who would like to raise our taxes. Now, it goes without saying that no politician campaigns for office by telling the voters that he wants to raise their taxes. After all, who wants higher taxes? Politicians who want to spend tax dollars to buy votes for their next election campaign, that's who.

David Broder {op-ed, Aug. 5} linked the term "progressive" (a word that has been co-opted by the left) with higher taxes and said that 31 states had "bravely raised taxes." If that is progressive, then we have had one progressive administration after another -- until this one -- with the result that the national deficit, as well as taxes, has gone up "progressively." And if that is brave, then it's the kind of courage the average American can do without. It's the kind of courage behind the $12,100 pay raise Congress voted itself (or didn't vote itself, depending on whom you talk to) last year. Congress is not my idea of a group of progressive heroes.

"Everyone realizes that sooner or later the nation will address the deficit problem through some mix of tax increases and spending reductions." So said Robert Reischauer in another op-ed piece {Aug. 4}. He hasn't been paying attention. In the last 20 years -- more, really -- tax increases have never brought about a reduction in the deficit. The reason is that, where Congress is concerned, the amount spent has nothing at all to do with the amount coming in by way of revenues. There is also nothing at all to suggest that the present Congress will be any different from previous ones. Therefore, it would be prudent to abandon the notion of raising taxes to reduce the deficit; it has never happened and it never will.

The deficit can only be lowered by reducing spending, and in no other way. Since Congress cannot be relied on to write budgets within the government's means, a balanced-budget amendment is in order. It should be accompanied by an amendment limiting the rate at which the government can tax individual incomes; 25 percent would be a reasonable maximum.

RICHARD F. WHITE Mount Rainier