Millionaires Collect Unemployment Benefits

A look through IRS tax data reveals that 2,840 households with annual income in excess of a million dollars collected unemployment benefits, taking in a total of $18.6 million in aid. That’s about $6550 per millionaire household. Among the millionaires who went on the dole, 806 made $2 million or more a year, and 17 nitwits with incomes above $10 million collected unemployment.

On one hand, it sucks to lose your job no matter how much money you had been making, and everyone pays for unemployment benefits. Or, as one expert told Bloomberg:

“Getting an insurance payment doesn’t depend on need but only on suffering an insured loss,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow and expert on tax policy at the Urban Institute, another Washington policy research organization. “We don’t say that your homeowners’ policy shouldn’t pay off if you’re a millionaire.”

On the other hand, what kind of bonehead who made more than $10 million — ever, in his or her life — can mentally justify collecting the $360 or so a week Uncle Sam hands out? What do they do with that money?

One explanation comes to mind. People who make a lot of money are apt to be aware of how to get more of it in any situation, including a job loss. The millionaires who collected jobless benefits did so because it’s in their very nature to spot an easy buck and grab it. Still, yeesh.

mtaylor@observer.com

Twitter: @mbrookstaylor

Millionaires Collect Unemployment Benefits