I take issue with the absurd article in The Post in which Roy Prosterman and Tim Hanstad propose that we ''Fight the Deficit With Estate Taxes'' {op-ed, Sept. 5}.

As a purely academic exercise, their argument makes for an interesting debate, but it is deeply flawed and smells of antiquated socialist dogma. It sounds to me as if they are saying your money should go to the government when you die, since you can't take it with you.

Mr. Prosterman and Mr. Hanstad describe federal estate taxes as taxes that target the ''relatively wealthy'' and deprives heirs "only of money they have not earned.'' Isn't this a clever way of saying that in their view the wealthy can afford it and the rest of us don't deserve it? Should our government be allowed to regulate wealth and inheritance in this way?

In the early 1970s, while coping with the death of my great-grandfather, my family had to confront the trauma of nearly losing his farm over estate taxes. We handled the issue by taking out a mortgage to pay the tax. This saddled an already struggling small farm with an added burden of debt.

I am sure that ours is not a unique or isolated situation. I assure you my family was not (and is not) wealthy and has earned that farm by toiling on it. I do not accept the Prosterman-Hanstad supposition that we are not entitled to the ancestral home and farm because it is ''unearned.''

This is just one of any number of illustrations that document that an estate tax penalizes those who have estates, and as such it penalizes productivity.

Any mugger will tell you he is taking your money because he ''needs it.'' Mr. Prosterman and Mr. Hanstad are proposing that the government legislate to seize the money it needs from the hard-won wealth of its citizens. A strict socialist might approve, but I sure don't see how it is just.

FRED TUTMAN Upper Marlboro

If only every widowed housewife who has benefited from the 1976 change in estate tax law would write a letter to Messrs. Prosterman and Hanstad! These men would be so busy reading mail that they would never again have time to propose such an outrageous scheme to raise federal revenue from widows' property.

I was 29 when I braved icy roads to attend a meeting with then-congressman Joe Fisher to seek his support on the Tax Reform Act of 1976. This proposed act would enable most widowed housewives to inherit tax free. At that time, housewives without careful estate tax planning were particularly vulnerable to taxation. Only $60,000 was exempt from taxes.

There are many good reasons, still valid, for leaving the estate tax law as is.

ROSE ELLEN RAY Leesburg