The Feb. 18 letter from Lisa M. Hufford, who demands tax incentives for stay-at-home parents, is yet another slap in the face of parents who must work to feed, clothe and house their families. Not every family can afford to have one spouse stay at home. The growing number of working couples reflects the declining standard of living in this country.

My wife and I also care for our children and try to do what is best for them. Lisa Hufford is fortunate to be able to afford the luxury of staying at home with her children. Making material sacrifices to care for your children is nothing new. That is often what you trade for the joys and responsibilities of parenthood.

The reason the IRS allows working couples to deduct a fraction of their child care expenses is simple: paying for child care allows the additional wage earner to pay more income tax. Giving a tax break to those who do not generate any revenue for the government would be illogical.

I am fortunate enough to have parents who take care of our children while we are at work. I receive no tax credit for this -- nor should I. I am sorry that the satisfaction Lisa Hufford gains from caring for her children at home does not exceed her material desires. But this is a burden she has voluntarily taken upon herself, and she should not be compensated by society for it. SCOTT A. DRUMMOND Manassas