I once had a new Phys Ed teacher who on his first day, decided to test his student crop in a variety of physical fitness exercises. And in an attempt to organize the rag-tag bunch into teams, bluntly told us to "pair off in groups of three."

Now as someone taking trigonometry at the time and fighting a losing battle against quadratic equations, I was fairly certain that three didn't divide evenly into two.

Which, save for a graduate course in statistics, is why mathematics matriculation ended after that year.

Some months later, when a number of students were absent in his class, he wondered aloud if "there was an academic going around."

But I digress.

However, I almost feel a kindred spirit with the current occupant of the White House, in that despite attending a pair of Ivy League institutions, he appears to have as feeble a grasp of math as I did/do.

Declaring that "it's math, not class warfare," as he announced his proposal for the millionaire's tax, it appears, the nation's CEO may have engaged in the same study group as my erstwhile gym instructor.

He railed about how wrong it is for a teacher, nurse or construction worker who earns in the neighborhood of $50,000 to pay higher taxes than someone earning 100 times that amount.

Well, he is right about that. But in fact it doesn't happen very often.

To wit, according to figures from the IRS and the Tax Policy Center - apparently two agencies his staff never bothered to check with - a household earning $1 million pays on average a 29 percent chuck of their income in taxes, versus 15 percent for those in the 50k-75k bracket.

In addition, the roughly 236,000 taxpayers who earn seven figures and more paid about 20 percent of the entire taxes in the U.S.

That's out of about 140 million total taxpayers.

To be fair, some wealthy taxpayers do end up paying a lower tax rate than the middle class - particularly those whose income is derived from gains on investments and dividends, which is taxed at a lower rate of 15 percent. But conversely, some of those proceeds were also subject to the corporate income tax of 35 percent.

The President knows full well the GOP won't back tax hikes in any way, shape, or form, so we're faced with the prospect of another standoff in Congress. Apparently the debt-ceiling gridlock is in the past.

His curious math aside, it's more about re-election than deficit reduction or jobs. Remember a few months back, when he railed about the nation's high unemployment rate?

And then just as quickly ferried over to Martha's Vineyard for some R&R.

After 32 months in office, it's clear he neither understands nor cares for the private sector, even though that is the true engine of job creation.

For those keeping score at home, I did manage to conquer trig but was smart enough to know my future didn't lie in numbers.

Or for that matter, as we have seen, lying about numbers.

 

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