stimulus package

Trump's Decision to Call off Stimulus Talks Leaves San Diegans in Limbo

Gary Dean

A financial boost from the federal government can’t come soon enough for some in San Diego County, especially Gary Dean.

Laid off as a part-time custodian at Mira Costa College and behind in rent, Dean said he’s reduced his financial strain, while collecting unemployment, by taking cost-cutting measures.

“I’m doing everything by phone," Dean said. "I had to lose my computer. I just have to cut back on everything. I don't drive anymore -- I can't even afford a bus pass. I can, but you know."

The 58-year-old's current unemployment benefits only pay him half the salary of his job at Mira Costa.

"I live on $410 a week, and I still owe $7,000  in rent,” Dean said.

When asked what it meant to hear that President Donald Trump tweeted about stopping the stimulus talks, Dean said, "It’s not good. I mean, there's a lot of people suffering and there's a lot of people suffering around the world."

Dean filed for unemployment in May and had to employ the help of a nonprofit to get his benefits, which took months to arrive.

Dean said the one-time stimulus check sent out earlier this year was a financial lifeline.

“The first one, that pulled me out of a lot of trouble," Dean said. "I mean, it helped me big time. And I needed it because I hadn’t ... like I said, I’ve been living on basically nothing."

Now on the verge of losing his medical coverage, Dean has this message for the politicians in Washington, D.C.: "You know, grow up. Think about, think about people who actually need this. I think, personally, it will get passed. I think they're just playing a game with us right now."

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