Millionaires Collecting Unemployment and Social Security, and Other Financial Misdeeds

This document from Republican Senator Tom Coburn, Subsidies of the Rich and Famous, reports that those earning more than $1 million a year receive government subsidies in the amount of $30 billion annually in the form of mortgage interest write-offs, unemployment checks, Social Security payments, and various other tax credits. Using government data, he tabulates the number of millionaries who have received subsidies; for example, 38,217 millionaries received $1.14 billion in Social Security payments in 2009. And of that number the 1,430 who have annual incomes in excess of $10 million collected over $47 million in retirement checks.(6) He names Ted Turner and Jon Bon Jovi, among others,  for their receipt of farm subsidies.(13) These findings, in combination with the release of the Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10 study that revealed how massive subsidies were given to 280 Fortune 500 business in excess of $223 billion, certainly gives one pause for thought. And let’s not forget the excessive salaries/bonuses going to the top executives at Fannie and Freddie Mac where $170 billion of taxpayer monies went to keep them afloat. Is it any wonder people are so angry and frustrated? (UPDATE as of 1-23-13. The Congressional Research Service has issued a relevant report: Receipt of Unemployment Insurance by Higher-Income Unemployed Workers (“Millionaires”)


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