TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Millionaires collected nearly $80M in jobless benefits during economic downturn

Daily Photo Galleries

By Bloomberg News
Friday, April 5, 2013, 8:09 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — The federal government paid almost $80 million in unemployment benefits during the worst of the economic downturn to households that made more than $1 million, including a record $29.9 million in 2010, tax records show.

Almost 3,200 households — about 20 percent of them from New York — that reported adjusted gross income of more than $1 million received jobless-insurance payments averaging $12,600 in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, according to IRS data compiled by Bloomberg. Those payments outpaced the total incomes for about 25 million households.

The $80 million represents less than 0.01 percent of this year's $845 billion projected deficit. Yet the unemployment aid to millionaire households underscores the lack of means-testing in some federal aid programs.

The aid also is a reminder of the difficulty of reining in spending.

“So many people are taking advantage of government support that they probably feel like, why shouldn't they take advantage of it, too?” said George Walper Jr., president of the Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based market-research and consulting firm that tracks the number of households worth more than $1 million.

Lawmakers have repeatedly tried to end or limit benefits to high-income households.

A January report by the Congressional Research Service found at least five such efforts.

The House of Representatives passed legislation in December 2011 as part of a jobs bill that would have taxed unemployment benefits at 100 percent for single filers with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $1 million or married filers reporting $2 million in income.

The provision wasn't included in the bill signed by President Obama.

The Internal Revenue Service doesn't release information about individual income tax filers, so it's impossible to identify specific millionaires who received unemployment benefits.

It's also unknown whether the benefits were paid to a person who earned $1 million during a year in which they were unemployed for part of the time, or to a spouse.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. North Korea may have key to nuclear missile, general says
  2. U.S. rules out apology to Pyongyang in exchange for 2 imprisoned Americans
  3. Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
  4. Warhol bodyguard sued over hidden artwork
  5. Seattle area school homecoming ‘prince’ guns down classmates
  6. 2 California deputies slain, suspect captured
  7. New York, New Jersey order 21-day quarantine of all in contact with Ebola virus
  8. 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
  9. Test confirms remains are missing Virginia student’s
  10. Washington city takes stock of damage from rare tornado
  11. Hatchet attack was terror, NYPD says
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.