With the low approval ratings President Bush has had recently, Access Press thought it would be interesting to poll a few regular readers/contributors for their review of the Bush presidency. To that end, AP sent out a request to ten people, evenly spread across the political spectrum, asking for their views. After several reminders and prods, we print here the only responses we’ve received so far.
Bush Presidency a Disaster
by Jeff Nygaard
I think the Bush presidency has had a negative effect on the lives of most people with disabilities. There are two basic reasons I say this, one a general reason, and the other specific. The general reason is that the Bush administration’s general preference for “market” solutions to various problems has a bias in favor of people with more resources. That is, in a market setting, the people who have more money—and thus more ability to purchase products and services—tend to thrive, while those of us with lower incomes and levels of wealth come out on the short end. Since such high numbers of people with disabilities also have limited incomes, this orientation reduces access to many things for people with disabilities. In terms of health care, the higher costs involved in support and care for people with serious or chronic conditions make this population unattractive to “the market.”
Specifically, there are a number of policy proposals made by the Bush administration—in the areas of health care, housing, education, and employment—that would have serious negative consequences for people with disabilities. Without going into details, I must mention proposed cuts in the Section 811 housing programs, cuts in vocational education funding, a failure to fully fund IDEA, cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, elimination of TBI, epilepsy, and hearing programs, and the very dangerous idea of moving the Social Security program away from a system of social insurance and toward a system of private investment. All in all, this administration has been a disaster for people with disabilities.
Jeff Nygaard worked at Access Press from 1994 to 2002, serving as editor during the year 2001. He now works as a writer, focusing on media and social policy. Nygaard says that he has no political party affiliation, and did not vote for President Bush.
Worst President in My Lifetime
by Billy Golfus
America is relentless in the way it ignores gimps.
George Bush may be the worst president in my lifetime. Certainly he has hurt the disability world, since his way is to rob from the poor and give to the rich. I would rank his presidency as rank.
What I don’t like about Bush’s presidency is that he favors the rich, that he has made America a hated country, that he has no regard for human life or freedom, that he uses torture which has not been an American value until this administration, that he postures in costumes and that he lies. Other than that he is a president lacking in even average intelligence and education.
I don’t like the Democrats or the Republicans, since they seem to be very similar. Neither party has a real regard for the values we say we stand for: peace, freedom, individuality and tie dye. Bush has cut programs to help people, including basic programs for disabled folks. He has castrated the ADA because it might have been expensive to his business friends. We are at the low point in American history——the low point—— and it is an open question if America will survive. Manufacturing and technical work is outsourced to other countries leaving behind only do-gooder jobs, a situation which is bad for the gimps and bad for America. As W C Fields said, “Everybody’s got to believe in something, and I believe I’ll have another drink.”
About himself, Golfus writes: I’m trying to write and make movies about the way disabled folks are excluded or kept invisible. I have a non-profit organization, the National Disability Awareness Project which is not making a profit nor has any funding. I’ve been around the block. Most of my disabled friends have gone to the big wheelchair in the sky and I miss them terribly. I was brain damaged in 1984.