The story about Carolyn Bell {front page, Oct. 12} was almost laughable to someone who doesn't live in, or refuses to be affected by, the rarefied atmosphere of the Beltway and environs.

While many locals may sympathize with the plight of the selfless lawyer/civil servant who has sacrificed power and position for the good of the people, the rest of us know she is a just another yuppie worried about her career track. After she puts in five or 10 years at "low" wages in the government, she can punch her own ticket in the private sector, most likely working for the people she used to help regulate. The revolving door of government works at almost all levels and not just among Reagan administration appointees.

The fact is no one outside of this area really gives a flip about the needs of the federal bureaucracy. The last three presidents were elected primarily because they were most able to convince the people that they were going to reduce the size of the government. All three failed. The people have finally started to lose their temper.

Limiting legislative terms is only the cutting edge of a larger movement to clean house. People are convinced that the system doesn't work and that it's stacked against the average citizen. I recommend that Carolyn Bell and others in middle-level government positions don't get too attached to their jobs.

CHRISTOPHER LEE Vienna