Skip to comments.2,362 Millionaires Got Unemployment Benefits
Posted on 08/14/2012 7:40:20 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
There were 2,362 people who earned a million dollars or more in taxable income in 2009 and who also received federal unemployment benefits that year, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
In fact, these millionaires collectively raked in more than $20 million in unemployment benefits.
The Congressional Research Service report--Receipt of Unemployment Insurance by Higher-Income Unemployed Workers (Millionaires)--was published on Aug. 2 and was based on the most recent data available from the Internal Revenue Service.
Among tax filers with AGI [Adjusted Gross Income] of $1 million or more, 2,840 reported receipt of unemployment benefit income in 2008 and 2,362 tax filers reported receipt of unemployment benefit income in 2009, the CRS reported.
The CRS reported that millionaires received $20.8 million in federal unemployment benefits in 2009, up from $18.6 million in 2008. That averages out to $8,806 in unemployment benefits per millionaire.
Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program and is funded by a payroll tax assessed against all workers. In the four years preceding 2012, according to the Tax Foundation, the unemployment insurance system was in the red. "Between 2008 and 2011, $174 billion was paid in unemployment taxes while $450 billion was paid out in benefits, a gap of $276 billion," the Tax Foundation said.
Department of Labor regulations require that unemployment benefits must be paid to all unemployed workers regardless of their income.
"This requirement is based upon a 1964 U.S. Department of Laobr (DOL) decision that precludes states from means-testing to determine UC [unemployment compensation] eligibility," the CRS said in its report.
"Under this interpretation, federal law requires entitlement compensation to be determined from facts or causes related to the individuals state of unemployment," said CRS. "Thus, the DOL requires that states pay compensation for unemployment to all eligible beneficiaries regardless of their income level because individual or household income would not be considered to impact the fact or cause of unemployment."
In addition to the 2,362 people with adjusted gross incomes of $1 million or more who got unemployment benefits in 2009, there were also 8,335 people with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million who received benefits and 120,227 with incomes between $200,000 and $500,000 who received benefits.
On July 17, House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer said that unemployment benefits along with food stamps were the two most stimulative things the government could do for the economy.
"If you talk to economists, they will tell you there are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do--ones unemployment insurance, the others food stamps, okay? said Hoyer.
Why is that? Hoyer said. Because those folks who receive those resources must spend them. And theyll spend them almost upon receipt. Most economists with whom I talk believe that those with significant discretionary income, that thats not the case.
Were any of them non-union?
“Department of Labor regulations require that unemployment benefits must be paid to all unemployed workers regardless of their income.”
So why all the crying? Next they’ll be complaining that millionares are collecting the social security checks.
If they were working and got laid off, why wouldn’t they be eligible for unemployment and if they have stocks and bonds that equal millions of dollars, so what. They do not ask how much money you have in the bank but what you made as an annual salary at your previous job.
At first I thought they were talking about celebrities.
The KEY point here is that these people paid their taxes and are entitled to the benefits, unlike most of 0bama rabble, who pay no taxes.
You are correct.
The sum total of a lifetime of work could easily be over a million dollars between a 401K and a house. You paid UE taxes while you worked. Why wouldn’t you be entitled to UE when you become unemployed? Especially as it is set up as insurance.
Coming next “Millionaires get SS and Medicare entitlements”.
Less than $10k per. which over the course of a year is less than $200/week. Ya’ think these beneficiaries paid into the system much???
Much of this, I presume, can be due to the massive lay-offs that took place. I received a large severance check when i was laid off which, combined with income and unemployment, gave the appearance that I made over $70,000 when, in reality, I was struggling with my career transition (and still do - I’ve been out of work the past nine months).
The money disappears so fast while you’re unemployed. I sure didn’t feel rich except for the brief time I found work about four months after getting the severance. I’m now almost to the point of cashing in my IRA because it is the last source of funds I have.
Wonder what their party affiliation is.
At least for now there appears to be some economic mobility. Unemployed one day, making some nice money the next.
I hope it works for me!
When I was growing up in Southern California in the 50s, it was fairly common knowledge that as soon as a film was wrapped, the actors and actressesincluding the biggest starswould take a trip to the unemployment office. They would draw unemployment benefits until they got their next job. They were very matter-of-fact about it. They were out of work, so they got the unemployment.
Don’t know if this still goes on, but if it does, this is where a lot of these millionaires are coming from.
2,362—two thousand three hundred and sixty two.
Out of about 10 million people who are receiving unemployment benefits.
That’s 0.02%, or 2 out of every 100,000 (one hundred thousand) people receiving welfare benefits.
There is massive abuse of unemployment payment programs, but this per se is not part of it - so long as these folks are genuinely looking for work and were in fact let go rather than they chose to retire or take a break.
I have seen no evidence that millionaires are more or less likely to cheat than anybody else.
Not surprised, a lottery winner was still collecting food stamps not long ago
We’re only talking about 2 thousand people out of 10 million.
The cost of processing the paperwork to ensure no millionaires get unemployment benefits would probably be more than the money being paid out.
There’s no financial benefit to the taxpayers to try and stop this.
Its human nature. If you’re offered something for free, you’ll take it. I don’t blame those who take it, but the government for giving it
“don’t hate the player - hate the game” ;)
Free, you say? Didn’t their employers pay for the unemployment insurance?
Considering that for some it has taken a long time to find a new job, might as well sign up for unemployment benefits, even millionaires have bills to pay.
Aren’t these the guys that are supposed to be making jobs for us?
Not all humans.
It was common for college students working in the cafeteria to be given unemployment papers at the end of spring semester. Same for people in limited appointment government positions such as I held on several occasions.
I figured I knew the gig before I signed up for it, and it would be wrong to take “unemployment” money from those who actually lost their jobs.
I have known many people who did not understand that position, it is true, but I have also known many people with more honor who would be ashamed to take any money they did not earn.
It does not matter who you are or what you were earning - the program is for those who involuntarily lost their jobs and are seeking employment. Those who are not are cheating you and me - they are committing fraud. It is not a matter of the costs of processing - the whole integrity of the program gets threatened when folks, rich or poor, cheat. If you are a millionaire and lost your job and are looking for another job - then you are entitled. If you are a minimum wage worker who wanted to hang out on the beach all summer rather than work - you are not entitled. If you work “off the books” 16 hours a day caring for the disabled but claim unemployment, you are committing fraud. No excuses.
I didn’t say they were committing fraud or even doing anything wrong.
I was pointing out that means-testing would not be cost effective if the result only filters out two-thousand recipients.
If you are saying that these 2000 plus millionaires, assuming that they meet the requirements for collecting unemployment benefits, are entitled, then I totally agree. However, just because some abuse the system by collecting benefits they are not entitled to - does not legitimate others doing the same thing.
The rules should be enforced irrespective of how much a person earned or is worth.
People with seasonal jobs are not really unemployed in the traditional sense when the season ends, because they will resume working when the next season starts.
Unemployment benefits was not meant to fill in this gap. This is an area where some money could really be saved if the rules were modified.
I never did see the sense in it, especially for allowing those students to take two months off while paid, then return to their same position.
Perhaps it might be reasonable for an adult who was using the limited appointment position as a stop gap while seeking a real job, but the ever so helpful secretaries were always shoving you out the door with directions to the unemployment office in hand, regardless of the circumstances.
In most states the answer would be "No" because unemployment insurance rates are very low relative to the amounts potentially paid out in an economic downturn. For instance, a company might pay 2% on the first $8,000 of salary, or about $160 per employee per year. So to cover 19 months of unemployment that employee needs to be employed for more than 20 years. Statistically speaking in the modern economy that just doesn't happen.
I agree that the rules are what they are, so the millionaires should get their payments, but really they are just transfer payments from the rest of us to them since we'll have to pay off those bonds sooner or later.
That kind of government "math" when applied to "insurance" programs is why we have trillion dollar deficits.