Millionaires on Food Stamps?

A December 12 article in the New York Times noted that Republicans, in their latest take on the Cadillac-driving Welfare Queen theme, are working to make sure that unemployed millionaires aren’t allowed to collect unemployment benefits or food stamps.

Every lottery-playing chump knows a million dollars isn’t what it used to be back in the day when the fictional John Beresford Tipton pulled up to the curb and delivered a check in that amount to some deserving individual.

In the world that isn’t trapped in the fifties, you could easily be a “millionaire” if you’ve paid off your mortgage and been saving for retirement for thirty years. But if you lose your job, what are you supposed to eat? Bricks and Mortar?

No bank is going to refinance your mortgage and fork over equity if you don’t have income. That leaves you the option of selling the house in a terrible housing market or dipping into your retirement account and paying the penalties.

Having a million dollars in assets – retirement accounts, your home, your wedding ring and all your worldly goods — doesn’t put you in the top 1%. Far from it. This is just the latest ploy by Republicans to try to appear fair and balanced. They’re not.

They’d rather see you on the street than pay you the unemployment benefits that you and your employer have paid for.

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2 Responses to Millionaires on Food Stamps?

  1. Unemployment insurance is one thing, Food Stamps another. When I worked in the Food Stamps program (many years ago), there were income and resource limits as part of the qualifications. UI has neither. Food Stamps did exempt from resources the value of your primary residence and a car. If a woman takes a $550K lump sum (rather than a large annuity payment over years) and immediately has less that $4K in the bank and no significant resources beyond her home and car, she either had massive debts or blew the money. If she wasn’t above the Food Stamps resource limits for at least a few months something is wrong. Most likely, she did not report her new income/resources, and her caseworker never reviewed her status.

    • CheezWhiz says:

      I’d be interested to know how many women you served “many years ago” who fit your description of having just received over a half-million dollar payout and yet had less than $4,000 in savings who were applying for food stamps.

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