• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

18 Households Making Over $10 Million And 2,362 Making Over $1 MM, Collected Unemployment Benefits In 2009

Tyler Durden's picture


Just because millionaires are people too, and they too can apparently lose their jobs, we now learn courtesy of the Congressional Research Center, that in 2009, 2,362 Americans making over $1,000,000 in income (and just shy of a million people making over $200,000) collected unemployment benefits.

The amount of money allocated to evil, evil millionaire benefits in 2009 was $20.8 million, amounting to $8,806 each for the year (out of a total of $83.5 billion, of which 90% went to those earning less than $100,000).

Cue tar and feather fury because these evil, evil millionaires also dared to use a legal system that, at least so far, does not discriminate based on wealth or income level. Just as the US tax system allows everyone to use the same loopholes. Note that we said so far, because it may soon "not be fair."

More from Bloomberg:

The reported benefits may include those received by spouses or dependents of people who made high incomes, or benefits received earlier in the year before a household member got a high-paying job.


“Sending millionaires unemployment checks is a case study in out-of-control spending,” U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, said in an e-mail. “Providing welfare to the wealthy undermines the program for those who need it most while burdening future generations with senseless debt.”


Coburn introduced legislation in February 2011 to prohibit federally funded unemployment benefits for people who had at least $1 million in assets in the year before they filed a claim. The Senate voted unanimously for his measure, the Ending Unemployment Payments to Jobless Millionaires Act of 2011. It was later added to another bill, which hasn’t passed the Senate.


Coburn found that 18 households reporting an adjusted gross income that exceeded $10 million received an average unemployment benefit of $12,333 in 2009. The average benefit for 74 households earning between $5 million and $10 million was $18,351. The average household making $1 million or more received $11,113, or about 37 weeks of unemployment benefits.

Eliminating the federal share of unemployment benefits for millionaires would save $20 million in the next decade, the congressional researchers said in their report.

Which then begs the question: just what is fair cutoff - $10MM? $1MM? $$100,000? $0.99? And far more importantly, who decides what is fair? And how soon before the "fairness doctrine" shifts from defining what laws are applicable to that guy but not to the other guy when it comes to income, and moves to who is eligible for such "you didn't build it" state benefits are police protection, or ambulances, or paved roads, or, who knows, air? Because that too may only be "fair" soon enough.

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Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:38 | 2848056 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Use your Obama phone and get on disability.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:46 | 2848096 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

I would like the list showing the names and addresses of those 18 motherfuckers.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:57 | 2848121 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Actually those are smart people. Why not? The state is printing for everybody, not only for those who are unemployed and broke.

Those people may own real estate that they rent out for example.

Their income may be because of investments and not work related.

It also says: households

That may also mean, the unemployed son who's sleeping it off all day while mom and dade make the money. Mom on her back, dad on the secretairy...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:58 | 2848148 machineh
machineh's picture

Meanwhile, the 'little people' are warned that unemployment fraud is a FELONY.


Thousands of small-time UI chiselers are being prosecuted to feed the prison-industrial complex.

Lesson: if ya don't know how to work the system, the system works you.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 13:09 | 2848863 Surly Bear
Surly Bear's picture

I am surprised at the outrage. I mean, the collective 'you' were ok with big banks being bailed out so what the fuck?! who is to say some investment banker made a million dollars in January, blew it on hookers and blow, and then was penniless and unemployed a month later? We call it moral hazard for a reason....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:02 | 2848158 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Because these same people, presumably, have benefitted from a completely corrupt and nonsensical system...  and they want to press their chances on continuing in that system for a few thousand dollars?  Really? 

This simply displays the degree to which people, in general, demand government involvement and the expectation of each for entitlements.  The amount received is irrelevant.  It ain't just the bottom.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:21 | 2848219 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Look, one of my friends is a director of a pretty big company.

he brings in about 9000 euro a month.

His wife stays home caring for the kids.

But she had worked in the past.

And one day he said to me: We where thinking about the misses to apply for unemployment benefits. She has the right to do so, we didn't ever thought about doing it but why not? I pay more than a fair chair of taxes.


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:35 | 2848262 tbone654
tbone654's picture

If you want to get REAL excited...  Do the same study on those with SAY $5,000,000 or more in the bank or other investments, but rake in Social Security for 25 years or more...  Add that up...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:44 | 2848302 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Either they're going to get dick because of devaluated payments or they'll get dick because of means testing...  hell, maybe a little of both.

The obvious thing to do is withdraw what you can from the system while you can...  but that does come with opportunity cost.  In the end, I don't think the mob is going to care one way or the other...  prudence will be punished (although, clearly, not all wealthy have established that wealth through anything resembling a morally justifiable avenue).

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:45 | 2848304 odatruf
odatruf's picture

For which, they paid in for 35 years.  What's your point?  Social Security isn't welfare.  Turing it into that would undermine its support from the great unwashed middle class.


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:07 | 2848377 tbone654
tbone654's picture

just want to know the number...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:49 | 2848515 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Then what, their names and addresses like Divided?

And why 5, why not 2?  Heck, they're geezers about to kick off anyway - why not 100k, they've already proven they're frugal and don't really need that much anyway.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:02 | 2848563 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

We should thank them, and the realt looter class, for helping hasten the demise of a corrupt, unsustainable system.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:49 | 2848317 TheMadNumismatist
TheMadNumismatist's picture

I am not sure if it still the case, but in the jolly old Netherlands, when made unemployed, you would receive 90% of your last wage for six months, gradually declining over two year period. So, theoretically, getting E100,000 per month meant the unemployment cheque would have been 90 G’s going forward.

They had a great scam going. Get a job for six months, become un-sackable, fake a back injury claim sickness until sacked, take them to a tribunal and get another job in the meantime.

I knew waiters that were pulling in close to 10,000 guilders a month (in the good old days). Can any of our cheese head readers confirm this is still the case?

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:24 | 2848232 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

Hey, cat food's expensive!

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:07 | 2848375 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

They will have the right to deny unemployment benefits to millionaires when they stop collecting unemployment contributions from millionaires.

The benefits go only to those who are registered and who pay the appropriate tax. This is NOT voluntary. You do not get to chose to make payroll contributions or not.

You have to obey the 1,000,000 laws that you don't like that are not in your favor. You should have the right to obey the one out of a million that is in your favor.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 14:04 | 2849070 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

SCOTUS has already spoken on the issue...  it is simply an additional tax...  of which, you may be parted from any benefit.  I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that's reality.  Plan accordingly.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:05 | 2848165 Monedas
Monedas's picture

What a little rabble fuck you are, Divided State of Mind !

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:06 | 2848171 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

They paid their unemployment insurance.  It's their right to collect it.



Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:21 | 2848218 capitalist bison
capitalist bison's picture


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:45 | 2848305 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Sure.  But the question is whether they SHOULD not whether they CAN...  big difference.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:00 | 2848544 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

If you are going to start means testing then both income and wealth need to be factored, and a lot people won't like the results.  An unemployed banker and an unemployed Section 8er can very easily be in the same boat, the banker's new BMW is worth the same as the Section 8er's Escalade  (w/ the after market stereo and rims), the understated watches and gaudy bling balance each other out,  they are both in over their heads in debt, and yet are drowning in rental properties full worthless iCrap they didn't need in the first place.



The same should also apply to $75k pickup trucks in the trailer park...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:06 | 2848579 dirtbagger
dirtbagger's picture

You are right, BUT they are still part of the shiftless 47%

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 13:24 | 2848917 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Same thing with retiring baby boomers. At some point there were a lot of people born. Those people were earning income and paid taxes. Now that they are retiring there's somehow a shortage of cash because there aren't enough youn people to feed the social security system. Ahem, what? Where did all the baby boomer tax money went? Why should young people be a part of the equation? Aren't they being taxed for the sake of their own retirement? No? Then why the hell pay taxes! Oh wait... I forgot. IRS has guns, bullet-proof trucks and quality body armor.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:25 | 2848437 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture


Divided States

666 Fuckyou Blvd

Asshole, PU  66666

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:57 | 2848543 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Why? They are just reclaiming stolen property from the theives.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:35 | 2848057 max2205
max2205's picture

fuck it

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:56 | 2848131 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Fuck nothing .... this is Obama circus !  Are you gonna take away their Social Suck and Obama care, too !    The problem is the millions who never make anything .... not the few who make a million !   Is this a financial blog .... or an Acorn meeting ?

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:00 | 2848154 machineh
machineh's picture

How can we tell, when there's no sound track playing Kumbaya?

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:44 | 2848290 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

"The problem is the millions who never make anything .... not the few who make a million"

a lot of Goldmans make a million.

And Cheney made change on the war

It kinda depends how you make your money

and how you lose it

It always has

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:36 | 2848062 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Mammon makes you mad. Like it's never enough once Big Money has been tasted.

Value = Meaningless.

Price = Everything.

In such a world, where 1st world garages are chock (choke?) full of once or never used rubbish, made and transported at great cost globally, while the third world starves for food and water.

Bring on the re-balancing. About time.


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:38 | 2848068 CPL
CPL's picture

It's truely obscene what it's all become.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:59 | 2848353 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

obscenitiy is the right word. We've moved beyond pornography into something disugsting, exploitive and criminal.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:26 | 2848445 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

Or just another 9-year old marriage, if you're a mohammedite.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:36 | 2848476 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Not co-incidentally, just the direction pornography has taken, disgusting, exploitative and criminal.


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:44 | 2848093 JohnKozac
JohnKozac's picture
Prisoners cashed in on homebuyer tax credit

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- More than 1,200 prison inmates, including 241 serving life sentences, defrauded the government of $9.1 million in tax credits reserved for first-time homebuyers, according to a Treasury Department report released Wednesday.

Treasury's inspector general also found that thousands of people filed multiple claims or made claims outside the allotted time period. In all, more than $28 million was improperly doled out.






I wonder how many got the free golf carts?

Free Golf Cart with the Government’s Golf Cart Tax Credit



Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:37 | 2848063 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

,,, i love to work at nothin all dayyyyy

and i'll be takin care of buisness, every day

takin care of buisness

every way takin care of buisness

it's all mine

takin care of buisness

and workin overtime


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:39 | 2848065 Desert Irish
Desert Irish's picture

Cue Odumber's war on the wealthy in 10....9....8....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:56 | 2848132 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Yeah, the poor poor wealthy need being protected in this country. There's certainly lots of discrimination and injustice going around against them. How did they educate you to jump into their defense is beyond me. The Stockholm syndrome?

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:37 | 2848066 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Tax them all to 100%!! Profit is theft!

/chanelling Obamabots

In other news, Turkey is on the verge of invading Syria because they have 93k refugees and they said if it reaches 100k, it's go time.


Also, the UK and France are doing military drills right off Syria for the next few weeks with a lot of hardware.


While Russia says : DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!


All bullish!

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:39 | 2848072 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

That's okay, they make more money from not paying the mortgage on their $1M gated community McMansions anyway.

Romney would do it!

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:53 | 2848127 CPL
CPL's picture

Not sure why you were junked, the article has been out there for a while about people squating in million dollar homes.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:42 | 2848293 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Junking probably has something to do with the troll "Romney would do it".

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:39 | 2848073 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

They are saving pennies and waisting Franklins....what a bunch of idiots. We need about 537 people in government filing for unemployment....oh wait they can't. They've stolen over the threshold allowance.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:41 | 2848079 pndr4495
pndr4495's picture

It's disgusting to read this. I started a business in 2006 with cobbled together funds that were all my own.  Shortly thereafter my industry decided that a human being was excess baggage. Shortly after that , my business folded.  Not once since then have I considered walking into an unemployment office. 

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:46 | 2848099 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Why?  You paid into the system.  There is a difference between 'living on principles' and just doing something foolish.  The problem with the unemployment system in the US is that it was not menat for long-term periods of higher unemployment. 

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 09:51 | 2848111 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Shortly after that , my business folded


You didn't fold that.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:23 | 2848228 pndr4495
pndr4495's picture

Quite right - I folded the business before I lost my common sense as well. I stand corrected.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:54 | 2848333 odatruf
odatruf's picture

To be fair, unless you put yourself on regular payroll and therefore paid into the unemployment insurance program in your state, you could not collect anyway.

I don't think most people understand that employers pay into a state run fund that pays for this benefit.  And the great minds in politics have decided that just when times get tough, that the premium / tax rates have to go up because so many people have lost their jobs as a way to cut employer costs. If you can understand that circle jerk, you should run for office.



Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:26 | 2848679 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

You have morals but sad thing is, they have not done anything illegal.

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