"Campaign finance is not a big issue" for Cynthia, whom Mary McGrory identifies as a registered Republican [Outlook, Dec. 19]. The polls tell us that the general public holds similar views. People don't want to spend public money on politicians and seem to think that because no one obliges them to pay, the system is free.

But look at the campaign contributions that are being gathered by our politicians. Have taxpayers ever seen how paltry even the largest ones are when compared with the huge sums of taxpayer moneys that are subsequently wasted when their representatives vote to subsidize "corporate welfare" and other legislation that favors the big "special interests"? Take the comparatively minuscule tens of thousands of dollars that the "Keating Seven" received, and compare it with the billions that came out of tax revenue to clear up the saving-and-loans mess.

Moreover, members of Congress have complained that they spend half their time on campaign fund-raising. Add half the cost of their salaries, perks and staff costs to the equation. And then consider what is lost in governmental efficiency and general responsiveness. What a grossly inefficient and costly system.

The Post should get out the story of this monumental lapse in governmental cost effectiveness during this campaign. Then if the public does not wake up, our democracy is in much worse shape than our critics say it is.

EGON WECK

Falls Church