Doing the math together

— The phrase “silent majority” fits well as a euphemism for the dead.

As a metaphor for the mass of ordinary and extraordinary American citizens buying into the system, saluting the flag and playing by the rules, it’s condescending to the point of insult, like a clandestinely unplugged invisible fence looming along the boundaries of the privileged, the help and the helpless.

Like a playground bully who finds himself outnumbered and has to resort to calling over the football team that he had always despised.

Like a diva embracing the cast only when the show is on the line, even power-yielding politicians must sometimes acknowledge the shoulders they’ve built their empires upon.

As my father used to tell me, numbers can lie and liars can number, that’s why everybody does the math.

While it’s true the wealthy in this country pay more taxes proportionally, it is not true that the rest of us are not paying through the nose.

Remember, income tax is just one tax. There are payroll taxes, state taxes, county taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes and many others.

Though it’s more of a necessity than a luxury, the filthy poor pay the same tax on toilet paper as the filthy rich.

Whether it’s a pleasure ride in a Rolls-Royce or delivering newspapers in a beat up old station wagon, it costs the same to fill up, regardless of the fact that the rich are also profiting by selling the paper, the fuel and every other product on the market.

I know that’s the American dream, to invent, to produce, to sell and to profit. Far be it for me to snatch that from the realm of possibility, even if I could.

However, the inventors and the producers no longer dominate the population of the rich. Stockbrokers, CEOs and law-tweakers make up the wealthiest of the wealthy.

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