The thought is surreal, but many millionaires do also collect unemployment insurance. In fact, in 2009, there were 2,400 tax filers who reported annual income of $1 million, or more, and yet hit up the government for benefits.
Yes, these “struggling plutocrats” do, like the rest of us, pay into the unemployment fund.
Yes, they are legally entitled to benefits. Thus, the $21 million they were paid by the fund is certainly legit. But isn’t there something quirky in a law that encourages this?
Well, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) thinks so. The lawmaker introduced a bill, which dawdled in the Senate Finance Committee, to prohibit federally funded unemployment benefits to anyone who had at least $1 million in income in the year prior to filing a claim.
While the Ending Unemployment Payments to Jobless Millionaires Act stays gnarled in the Congress, it is interesting to note that the $1 million-plus earners accounted for just 0.02 percent of the 11.3 million tax filers who declared unemployment benefits as income in 2009. In actuality, the bulk of the benefits were divvied up in households with incomes of less than $100,000. The average weekly check was some $300. Personally, I still like the premise of the EUPTJMA legislation. If nothing else it is morally correct.