If I hadn't heard this story three times in the last two weeks (and endlessly over the last 20 years) I wouldn't bother to mention it.
You see, every Crazy Uncle Liberty has a friend or a cousin or a friend of his cousin.
His cousin's friend (the story goes) lost his $40K or $45K or $50K a year job and has now opted to laze around year after year living off the the public teat. "And even though he was offered (so the story goes) dis great, forty-t'ousand-dollar-a-year job, he toll my cousin that he'd rather just loaf and live off unemployment for a coupla years makin' 40K for doing nuthin'!"
Which immediately expands outward into a rant about how Lazy Socialist Scum have killed Real America...'cuz that's the god damn problem with this god damn country! What with the welfare and the food stamps and the unemployment you can live pretty good sittin' on your Liberal moocher ass livin' off the sweat of decent, hard-workin' Murricans like me!
This is the fairy tale they tell themselves, these poor, aggrieved wretches who are forced by the Socialist Obama Regime into a state of virtual slavery to pay for steak and Cadillacs for your lazy, God-hating Liberal ass while still busting hump to provide for his decent upstanding Christian family.
Here are the facts.
As of this writing, if you qualify to collect unemployment in Illinois (for example) the absolute maximum you can receive per-week even of you were pulling down six figures on your previous job is this (from the unemployment calculation website):
Your estimated weekly benefit: $452.00
If you qualify to collect unemployment in Illinois this benefit lasts 26 weeks, for an absolute maximum benefit of:
The most you will receive in total: $11,752.00
If you qualify, that is the basic package. There is a little bit more if you have a dependent spouse or children, but only a very little bit more. If apply for an extension past 26 weeks your case will usually be reviewed in-detail by a case manager and all of your documents and records better be in apple-pie-order. If you are granted an extension, it will be for 26 week and you'll end up getting about 80% of what you were getting before.
In other words, not 40-thousand-fucking-dollars for two-fucking-years, no questions asked.
And did I mention the documentation and certification process?
Because if you do qualify for unemployment you must actively look for work every week and document every job you applied for and what the outcome of that application was. And to keep you unemployment, every two weeks you must legally, affirmatively certify a whole bunch of things: that you looked for work during the previous two weeks, whether or not you are collecting any disability or annuity or workman's comp, whether or not you picked up any part-time work and whether or not you turned down any offers of work during the past two weeks.
You are required to keep records of everything and produce them on demand and if you lie about any of this, they can and often will cut you off from benefits both now and in the future, fine you, and maybe throw in a little jail time for good measure.
Or, put another way, Crazy Uncle Liberty's cousin's imaginary moocher friend is just another of the many, many fairy tales Conservatives tell themselves to justify their berserk hatred of us Lazy Socialist Scum that have killed Real America.
But then, you already knew that.