New GOP Push: No Jobless Benefits for Rich

They also want to keep millionaires off food stamps
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2011 9:00 AM CST
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, accompanied by fellow Republican leaders, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill, Dec. 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The GOP has found some millionaires it won't stand up for: Millionaires on food stamps. House Republicans have added a measure to their payroll tax holiday bill that would cut off food stamps and unemployment benefits for people with a gross adjusted income of $1 million or more, the New York Times reports. Of course, there aren't actually any millionaires receiving food stamps, which are already means-tested. But some do collect unemployment benefits, which in 2009 cost the government almost $21 million.

Many Democrats are on board with the idea, and indeed already had a similar provision in the Senate version of the payroll tax holiday bill. But one economist scoffed at the measure as "a water drop in a hurricane," because millionaire unemployment benefits aren't "one of the major problems with the program." And the 99% shouldn't get too excited by the GOP's populist turn; their bill also seeks to shorten the time the jobless can collect benefits.

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