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.