LET'S DO A little math.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority just imposed a 6 percent pay cut on its top executives, a "symbolic gesture" in light of reports begun in the Daily News that questioned the authority's ballooning budget, especially salaries among its well-paid executives.

The PPA doesn't like that kind of heat - hey, it's OK to call it a patronage palace, but don't look at the books - so in an attempt to appear austere, they recalled some of the pricey SUVs that executives were driving, and for the rest of the fiscal year, about 20 managers will have to scale back on their foie gras consumption. Nice symbol, until you realize that the 6 percent pay cut will be restored next year, as the scheduled raises for those managers kick in.

Still, maybe we shouldn't complain. Even for the six months of the give-back, the savings represent $150,000. PPA director Vincent Fenerty's pay cut alone totals $11,690.

And here's some more tragic math: His pay cut is still more than an individual living at poverty makes.

The poverty threshold - at or below which 22 percent of Philadelphians live -is $10,294 for an individual. *