Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) {Outlook, Aug. 18}, Rep. Howard Wolpe (D-Mich.) and other worthy solons of northern states are coming down hard on us Texans, claiming that we are making a killing on the bailout of the savings and loans at the expense of their states.

An Ohio professor even proclaimed that the S&L payday would amount to $4,775 for every man, woman and child in Texas, but in reality we are losers in the S&L fiasco just like taxpayers everywhere. The only winners are the hostile takeover artists, Wall Street investment syndicates, multistate financial institutions and wealthy investors who caused the collapse of the thrift industry in the first place and who are now being paid billions of our tax dollars to repossess the rubble.

In the federal government's fire sale of failed Texas thrifts, for example, corporate raider Ronald Perelman used $11 million of borrowed money to pick up two chains of thrifts in our state. To complete the sale, taxpayers contributed $923 million toward the purchase. That is nearly a billion dollars worth of bailout that is registered in the name of Texas, but Perelman, a resident of New York City, is the recipient. The nearly $5 billion in assets that he gained with his $11 million ante for the two S&L chains now are the property of New Yorkers, not Texans.

Then there's Pacific USA, which paid a mere $312,500 to pick up a chain of Texas thrifts with us taxpayers chipping in $5 million to complete this sweetheart deal. East Texas thrift depositors' money is now in the hands of a misnamed conglomerate that actually is a Taiwanese company.

The feds have spent some $50 billion to bail out Texas savings and loans, but only $2.3 billion of that sum went to cover the passbook savings of depositors at closed Texas thrifts, and at least a third of these depositors were mega-investors from out of state.

True, Texas produced an embarrassment of thieves in its S&L industry, but these crooks cost us surprisingly little -- only about $500 million. The bulk of the "Texas" bailout -- some $53 billion -- has gone to wealthy interests worldwide, which have been allowed to plunder the U.S. Treasury in order to buy S&L assets.

Congress should be angry about the unprecedented transfer of wealth that the S&L bailout is causing. But the government's redistribution of funds is not from one region to another but from the pockets of the middle class to the coffers of the wealthy. Unfortunately, budget-deficit proposals in Washington would exacerbate the regressivity of the government's S&L redistribution.

It is plain wrong to raise the taxes of the middle class and the working poor by so much as a penny to finance these land grabs by the wealthy. Those who had the party and made the mess during the 1980s should pay for the cleanup.

If there has to be a tax increase to finance the bailout, it should be applied to the incomes of the wealthiest one percent of Americans, who saw their annual incomes rise from an average of $314,000 in 1980 to $540,000 in 1990. Let the super wealthy among us, those who caused the collapse in the first place, pay to clean it up.

Jim Hightower

The writer is agriculture commissioner for the State of Texas.