Life is rough among the rich.
It’s an image many Americans would find rather upsetting: a recently laid-off millionaire, luxuriating next to the pool eating grapes bought with food stamps while waiting for an unemployment check to roll in.
Under the Republican bill to extend a payroll tax holiday scheduled to be voted on in the House as early as Tuesday, those Americans with gross adjusted income over $1 million would no longer be eligible for food stamps or jobless pay, producing $20 million in savings to help pay for the tax cut for American workers. The idea is also embraced by many Democrats, who had a similar version of the savings in a Senate bill to extend the payroll tax cut, as did a failed Republican Senate bill.
From 2005 to 2009, millionaires collected over $74 million in unemployment benefits, according to an estimate by Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who has paired with Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, to push to end the practice.
According to Mr. Coburn’s office, the Internal Revenue Service reported that 2,362 millionaires collected a total of $20,799,000 in unemployment benefits in 2009; 18 people with an adjusted gross income of $10,000,000 or more received an average of $12,333 in jobless benefits for a total of $222,000.
A Welfare Cadillac? Feh, how pedestrian. A Maserati at least.