First they lost their jobs, which included losing their healthcare. Not everyone could afford Cobra.
Then next, if they were fortunate enough to have it in the first place, they lost, little by little, or in big chunks, their savings for retirement, for their kids college, for a car that wasn't 13 years old, as they struggled to make up the difference between what their Unemployment Insurance benefits paid and what they needed to pay their bills...
And, while they were looking for work, and losing their cushion, assuming they even had one, they started to lose their self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect...but they tried not to lose hope, as they listened to people in the media, down the street, around the corner and in Washington D.C., claim that they were lazy and weren't trying hard enough. They tried not to lose hope because maybe all those folks were right, and maybe if they just tried harder or tried a different approach, maybe they'd be the one out of 50 applicants to get that job.....
Then, after weeks and weeks and months and months and then a year and a year and a half and then 99 weeks (if they were lucky to get them for that long) then they lost their Unemployment Insurance benefits and they were left with nothing at all, or they were left with what was left of their retirement, or kids college fund and forget any money to celebrate the holidays with their children.
Next when they were finally lucky enough to get even a minimum wage job, they came face to face with the beginning of the end of their identity as a home owner, as they were forced to put their home on the market because minimum wage was just not enough to pay their mortgage.
Then, when their house wouldn't sell because the housing market still was under water, they lost their home to foreclosure, and all the money they'd put into it. They lost it all, including the great credit rating they'd had for years, and any hope of ever owning their own home again. if they were older, and if they were younger, at least for a very long time.
If they'd been lucky enough to find that minimum wage job or were able to qualify for, gasp, welfare, they found someplace to live that was smaller and would never be theirs but was safe and warm nonetheless. Or they were offered shelter or money by relatives or friends...if they were lucky.
If they weren't lucky enough, they lost safe shelter and found themselves living in a tent, or abandoned building, or car or..... outside, which would make finding a job that much harder let alone finding a job.
And somewhere along the way, maybe earlier, maybe later in this journey of loss and humiliation, they lost respect for their leaders and their country, which they used to think was the greatest country in the world, but which they now sadly knew to be anything but true...
What I want to know Dear Senators and Representatives is: How is extending UI Benefits and truly investing in programs that will put people back to work, especially when every penny of unemployment benefits goes back into the economy pretty much immediately, the WRONG things to do and renewing tax cuts, particularly for the wealthiest in this country the RIGHT thing to do? I don't understand it and I figure, since this is how you are voting, that you must understand it. So, please, Honorable Senators and Representatives, our elected public servants, please explain it to me. Because this lifelong citizen of the US, who has a college degree and whose husband does as well, but both of whom CANNOT find reasonable employment, wants to understand you're reasoning. We'd like to understand....and I'm sure we're not the only ones.