Nov. 30 amounts to an unwelcome landmark for thousands of southwest Floridians, and about 2-million Americans in all. Their extended jobless benefits are ending. That means: no more 275 to 300-dollar checks a week.
"It really is numbing, because I do not know what I am going to do for money. I have to go back on food stamps for sure," said Tim Tew of Ft. Myers. He says he received 2 years of jobless checks, but no more. "I know that the politicians in Washington do not really care. They are millionaires who can't comprehend what the working class is going through. They look on it, like: Let them eat cake in the French Revolution."
Zoe Printz, a 26-year old waitress and bartender in South Fort Myers, feel quite differently. "I say, cut them off. It is totally ridiculous. They have gotten benefits for two years? Outrageous. They should have found jobs within a few weeks. I have every belief that I could get a job if I needed one, in one week. It might not be everything I want in pay, etc., but it would still be work!"
Unemployment benefits used to run for 26 weeks. But congress extended benefits several times during the recession. But the new congress is more conservative and Republican, and its leaders are saying: no more extensions for the benefits.