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If any of these people are Republicans, boot them the hell out of the party permanently

This goes beyond the pale:

After the economy slipped into recession in 2008, millions of Americans received unemployment benefits to make ends meet -- including almost 3,000 millionaires.

According to U.S. Internal Revenue Service data, 2,840 households reporting at least $1 million in income on their tax returns that year also collected a total of $18.6 million in jobless aid. They included 806 taxpayers with incomes over $2 million and 17 with incomes in excess of $10 million. In all, multimillionaires reported receiving $5.2 million in jobless benefits.

It'd be interesting to see what percentage of these thieves are in fact Democrats.  My gut tells me it'd be the vast damned majority.

Coming our way via Tom Elias.


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Comments (28)

Unemployment benefits are a... (Below threshold)
Hawk:

Unemployment benefits are an insurance, paid by employers. These millionaires paid there share in taxes when they were employed and they deserve the benefit. I would of expected better than this crass populism from Wizbang.

That's lib thinking. They a... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

That's lib thinking. They and their employers paid in, and, if entitled to it, they get it.

What's next, asking people who have ample assets to pay for medical costs out of pocket, even though they have insurance?

Unemployment benefits are n... (Below threshold)
John S:

Unemployment benefits are not means tested. I've paid in $400,000 in taxes over 40 years, I don't feel guilty about a crummy $8,000 insurance payout that won't be extended by the new Republcan Congress. What's next? Declare the 99 week extensions were loans from the government?

I guess millionaires who've... (Below threshold)
AngryWhiteVoter:

I guess millionaires who've paid millions in taxes and other BS redistribution schemes should simply buck up and not collect the pittance that they paid for over years and years.

C'mon Rick, you sound like Nancy Pelosi.

Why not complain about the a-holes pay NO tax yet collect "unearned income credit, ie CASH" redistributed from taxes paid by the very people you are denigrating in this post.

I agree with previous comme... (Below threshold)
JustMe:

I agree with previous commenters. This is like saying "rich" people shouldn't collect social security. They paid for it, it's their money. Likewise unemployment.

I agree with Rick on this. ... (Below threshold)
SER:

I agree with Rick on this. In my state, unemployment taxes are paid by employers, not employees. If you need unemployment, fine. However, if you have a net worth greater that $1,000,000 (my definition of a millionaire - invested assets > $1,000,000), you should not be looking for unemployment comp. I look at this "morally." If you can pay your own way, don't look to your fellow citizens to pay for you.

Well, there goes my next ar... (Below threshold)

Well, there goes my next article... Rick, I'm with the majority here. Unemployment, like Social Security, isn't supposed to be welfare, but insurance. If you pay in, you oughta be able to collect.

J.

Yeah, this was a no-brainer... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Yeah, this was a no-brainer; agree with comments.

I would venture to guess th... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I would venture to guess that in many cases one spouse lost his/her job and collected the Unemployment that their employer paid into for them.

Whats next ? a means test for auto insurance payouts ? if you get into an accident but you are a millionaire tough luck ?

A Means test for Social Security ?

and SER ... do you have any idea how much "income" $1,000,000 invested generates ?
If you are lucky today maybe $40,000 in taxable income ...

Remember its called Unemployment Insurance not Unwealthy Insurance ...

And perhaps, none of these ... (Below threshold)
Roy:

And perhaps, none of these millionaires reinvest any of this money into the economy. They just stuff it into matresses and remove it from the money supply.

If they qualify they collec... (Below threshold)
914:

If they qualify they collect. Unlike Megs maid who should have to pay back wages and deportation exspenses for bilking the taxpayers for 12 years.

Thieves? Well, as someone o... (Below threshold)

Thieves? Well, as someone once said, "property is theft."

I don't think I've seen that guy at any tea party events, though. He was at the union rally the other day instead.

I think Rick's unstated poi... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

I think Rick's unstated point is that if it's acceptable in modern American political discourse to say that it's OK to force the "rich" people who make over $250,000 per year pay for everyone else's social programs, then it ought to be OK to criticize the hypocritical rich people who make four times as much yet tap into resources intended for the truly needy.

I suspect that Rick may be right about their political affiliations. Think about it -- who do you think those "out of work" millionaires are? I've read several articles about big-name actors and actresses who command huge fees ... but when they're "unemployed" between movies, they collect their unemployment benefits just like any out-of-work bricklayer.

Jeff #9,Yes. I do... (Below threshold)
SER:

Jeff #9,

Yes. I do.

Also, if you are out of work, you could actually spend some of your capital.

I am willing to be convince... (Below threshold)
SER:

I am willing to be convinced that I am wrong; however, there is no "unemployment insurance fund" or investment pool based on an actuary's estimate of risk. There is no "Social Security Trust Fund." We borrow money from China to pay social security, unemployment compensation, etc. to beneficiaries today.

I guess my libertarian instincts recoil at the idea that someone who has invested assets of $1,000,000 is going to ask his fellow citizens, who may not have that level of wealth, to give him some money.

Surprising, but not all tha... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Surprising, but not all that shocking, to learn that a Wizbang commentator not only supports means testing for SUI benefits but also wants people who file for a return on their own tax contributions to renounce their party affiliation to boot.

Pelosi, Reid and even Obama are to the right of this blog author.

Of course, there's also the... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Of course, there's also the question of how many of those people either came into money (through inheritances or lottery winnings or the like), and how many had huge "worth" at the start of a year, but lost all of it due to the economy going south or through just plain bad luck. You can have high overall "wealth" but still not have any money or a job...

Ayn Rand wrote (and I canno... (Below threshold)
Joshua Fenton:

Ayn Rand wrote (and I cannot remember the exact quote that it is OK to benefit from a program you disagree with as long as you work to change or end that program. Demanding of all Republicans to not claim benefits they are entitled to is a ridiculous standard. Does Rick demand that Democrats pay taxes at the higher rates when tax cuts are passed?

To those who say it's the e... (Below threshold)
steve:

To those who say it's the employer who pays the unemployment insurance premiums, not the employee...

Wrong. It's pretty well accepted that taxes and other benefits - including medical insurance - paid by the employer factor into the employee's effective compensation. that is why Obamacare opponents could legitimately argue that higher costs passed on to employers were effectively taxes on employees.

Sorry charlie, but even mil... (Below threshold)

Sorry charlie, but even millionaires get to collect on unemployment, and there is nothing wrong with it. If you do not want them collecting, I am going to imagine that you think they should not pay anything towards the unemployment fund.

Over at my place, I'm <a hr... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Over at my place, I'm accused of being short-sighted on this allegedly because the argument is that everybody pays into the Unemployment Compensation pool and thus are entitled to having some of that money back. My response follows:

Short-sighted? Really? Bullsh*t:
Operating as a federal-state partnership, UC is based on federal law, but administered by the states. The UC program is unique among U.S. social insurance programs in that it is funded almost totally by either federal or state taxes paid by employers.

Currently, employers pay federal unemployment taxes of 6.2 percent on the first $7,000 earned by each of their employees during a calendar year. These federal taxes are used to cover the costs of administering the UC programs in all states. In addition, the federal UC taxes pay one-half of the cost of extended unemployment benefits (during periods of high unemployment) and provide for a fund from which states may borrow, if necessary, to pay benefits.

State UC tax rates vary from state-to-state. State UC taxes may be used only to pay benefits to unemployed workers. The state UC tax rate paid by employers is based on the state's current unemployment rate. As their unemployment rates go up, the states are required by federal law to raise the UC tax rate paid by employers.

Almost all wage and salary workers are now covered by the federal-state UC program.

Our employers are paying into a pool to help those who lose their jobs during tough times... people making millions of dollars ought to have sense enough to set aside enough money to sustain themselves during an economic downturn, make adjustments in their lifestyle and otherwise fend for themselves. To suggest that the unemployed who make $20k a year and find themselves out of a job ought to be sharing handouts with people making 50 times as much or more goes beyond my sense of what's right and what's wrong...

I would less than gently suggest that those who would accuse me of being short sighted on this are engaging in some serious projection.

I'm not sure how someone could live with taking a government handout ahead of someone truly in need when they've been making millions of dollars a year... just can't fathom it... and if this breaks some conservative or libertarian principle, so freakin' be it. Call me a liberal on this all you want... my conscience will be clean and I'll sleep well at night over it.

I've paid Social Security a... (Below threshold)
brucepall:

I've paid Social Security and Medicare taxes, both self-emplyed AND as an employee. It was a raw deal at age 15, when I wrote a letter to my local SS office requesting to opt out. Received a nice hand-written letter back (not like the canned computer generated ones today) explaining I didn't have the choice. By age 30, I twigged to the fact that those not yet borne or just babies at the time, would be paying my SS benefits at age 66 years and 4 months (my full retirement age in the year 2023). I got some books on SS from the library, and using my annual SS statement (which they thoughtfully send me in the mail every year), I calculated my benefit in 2023 and came up with $1,623.00 per month (not counting the unknown 2023 amount of means-tested medicare part A and B deductions - which BTW will be deducted in 2022 starting at age 65, not starting in January 2023, at age 66 and four months). $1600 bucks a month (before deductions) for 50 years and 4 months of continuous contributions, in 2023 dollars!...thats worth repeating. $1,600 per month (not counting deductions) for 50 years and 4 months of continuous contributions in the year 2023. Great Moogly-Googly!!! Do the math for yourself like I did...SS is a horrible deal; and it keeps getting worse for each following generation. Folks tell me: let it go, Bruce. No way. I will do something even better. So here is my pledge: If I live to full retirement age, I will donate my entire SS benefit check to a charitable organization which is focused on seeing to Social Security's complete demise. That way future generations will not end up being screwed over like my generation. So yeah, I'm willing to sacrifice a lifetime of contributions to put a stake through the heart of SS and end this scheme of generational theft. What are you willing to do for your progeny? PS - I'm an idealist from the boomer generation, so guess what I think of millionaires drawing unemployment today? Even if they paid into it (as an employer or/and employee)? Yeah, you got that right. Such selfish justification is nothing but El Toro Poo-poo.

Rick, I just saw your follo... (Below threshold)
brucepall:

Rick, I just saw your follow-up post. Even if our country is FUBAR when it comes to situational ethics...stick to your guns man, and continue to fight the good fight! Semper Fideis - Brucepall

Rick said:<blockquote... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Rick said:

I'm not sure how someone could live with taking a government handout ahead of someone truly in need when they've been making millions of dollars a year... just can't fathom it...


I'd agree, but you first need to clarify a couple of points: First, how is accepting a benefit for which you have paid (albeit indirectly) and are legally eligible a "handout" for those at a certain level of net worth or income, and not for those below it? Who decides the location of the line?

Secondly, how does someone who qualifies for a benefit and receives it taking something "ahead of someone truly in need"? Does a poor person get scratched from the list every time a "millionaire" qualifies?

If you are comfortable with this populist class warfare and can sleep well at night, great, but do remember there are those out there who might draw the line somewhere below your own level of income or wealth. To them, you are "the evil rich" just as much as the millionaire.

Sweet dreams!

I'm with Rick, on this one.... (Below threshold)

I'm with Rick, on this one. And I walk the walk. A couple of months short of my 69th birthday and by almost any measure: Poor - I am yet to register for or to take a Penny piece from any government's Ponzi program! In case any wonder how it feels - it feels great!

But on the other hand, any man of means who can kid himself of his "right" to leach on any of the multitude of Ponzi scams, from "unemployment" welfare via "medibank" and "medicare" through "social security" is but a bum, by any other name.

Then there are such execrable examples of the life-long leach, as is the American "farmer" -- AKA The New Welfare Rich!

I'm sorry, but if the moste... (Below threshold)
Bill Johnson:

I'm sorry, but if the moster that ate my wallet has ways to give some back, I have the right to use each and every one of them. Including jobless aid, if available.

Just like I have the right to pay the least amount of taxes I can justify.

Look, EVERYBODY has been stealing your money. Use their rules and steal some back. Morality? We'll talk when no one can take my money without my permission.

I hate it when liberals say... (Below threshold)
thecomputerguy:

I hate it when liberals say "if you're collecting unemployment, you have no right to complain about socialism". Excuse me, but I was give no choice about the matter while the money was being collected from me.

Once again, I've posted the... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Once again, I've posted the following in the comments at my place:

This USA Today piece is a tad dated but it sheds light on two things... 1) Employees do NOT pay into the UC pool, Employers do via Federal and State mandated taxes and 2) Not every employee qualifies for unemployment, meaning that yes, funds are limited and the powers that be have a process by which they decide who does and who does not receive funds... the conclusion being that Mikey Millionaire could in fact be receiving funds when Billy Bluecollar doesn't get squat...

And I'm supposed to believe that a conservative shouldn't have a problem with this?

What utter bullsh*t.




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