The editorial "What Mr. Simon Says" {Jan. 9} is what The Post says, not what Sen. Paul Simon says, and what The Post said was incorrect. Rules for this town's political games require that players and positions be kept straight.

Sen. Simon is not the only Democratic presidential candidate who supports a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Consult The Post's own listing of Democratic candidates' positions {Sept. 17} and you will find that Sen. Albert Gore checks in as favoring the balanced budget amendment as well. In fact, both senators voted for the amendment when legislation was on the Senate floor in 1986.

It seems that The Post has a myopic view of this subject. The imprecise comment on Democratic candidates is one instance; another is the lack of focus on Republican presidential contenders, which obscures the fact that five of the six also support a balanced budget amendment. Selective reporting leaves citizens in the dark about the growth of support from other quarters as well. Most are only dimly aware that a bipartisan amendment was introduced in the House last year and that it has garnered 238 cosponsors to date -- 76 Democrats and 162 Republicans.

Moreover, Post subscribers have only a hazy sense of the existence of a discharge petition that would force the balanced budget resolution to the House floor -- circumventing leadership opposition. Yet this petition currently has approximately 180 of the 218 signatures needed to ensure action. And there has been almost a complete blackout on information regarding recent nationwide polls which indicate that 75 to 85 percent of the public backs an amendment.

Seven presidential candidates, 238 members of the House, about two-thirds of the Senate and up to 85 percent of the public cannot all be accused of supporting a "gimmick." These people have concluded that budget process reforms have failed and are failing; they recognize that debt and deficit figures remain unpromising and endanger the economy. They have identified one idea that seems to provide a mechanism which could counter the forces that cause expenditures to exceed revenues: a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget.

Maybe Sen. Simon can't do it in three years, but he is on the right track. What is desperately needed is a public discussion, not about whether there should be a balanced budget amendment, but how to draft language so it will work. It's time for The Post to don corrective glasses and become involved in the debate. SHEILA MACDONALD Director, Government Relations National Taxpayers Union Washington