HUD May Get Elective Surgery Under Carson's Leadership
It's not brain surgery, but Carson has his work cut out for him.
In the weeks following the 2016 election, President-Elect Donald Trump has surprised critics and supporters alike with his nominees for cabinet appointments. Some, such as the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions (an early and loyal Trump ally, as well as a former U.S. attorney, and attorney general for Alabama) as attorney general, were expected. Others, such as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a vocal Trump critic, for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, or the consideration of former GOP presidential nominee and fierce Trump critic Mitt Romney as secretary of state, were extremely surprising. Trump seems to be setting past personal issues aside and selecting strong, smart, capable people for these powerful positions.
And so it is with renowned neurosurgeon and former Trump competitor Dr. Ben Carson, who has been nominated by Trump for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Though it may not seem like it at first glance, with Dr. Carson having never held elected office or run a government agency, this may be an inspired pick of a man with personal experience in this area at the ground level. Carson was raised in inner-city Detroit by a single mother who never learned to read or write, but who loathed welfare and dependency on government, and who insisted her son work hard, do well in school, and make something of himself. Her efforts resulted in a son who graduated from Yale, and then the University of Michigan Medical School, and then became the youngest-ever director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he pioneered neurosurgical techniques, including the first successful neurosurgical procedure of a baby inside the womb.
Carson grew to share his mother’s dislike of government welfare programs, which he believes to be destructive to the human spirit. Speaking at CPAC in 2015, Carson said, “I’m interested in getting rid of dependency, and I want us to find a way to allow people to excel in our society, and as more and more people hear that message, they will recognize who is truly on their side and who is trying to keep them suppressed and cultivate their votes.” He continued, “That’s not compassion, that’s the opposite of compassion. It’s making people dependent. What real compassion is, is using our intellect to find ways to allow those people to climb out of dependency and realize the American dream.”
One thing is certain, fans of Barack Obama’s welfare, housing and government dependency-enabling policies are right to be anxious with Carson at the helm. As reported in the Washington Post, “If Carson remains true to his political commentary about the nation’s housing programs, he could pursue a conservative agenda sharply at odds with efforts by the Obama administration to promote racial integration in housing and with other anti-segregation policies championed by minority groups such as the NAACP. Carson might also abandon or place new restrictions on government subsidies and other programs that conservatives criticize as fostering a culture of over-reliance on government handouts, according to housing advocates alarmed by his nomination.”
HUD is a massive agency, employing 8,300 employees and overseeing a budget of $49 billion. It was founded in 1965 as a cabinet-level department created to help implement LBJ’s “Great Society” programs, with a mission that includes “enforcing anti-discrimination laws, assisting low-income applicants in obtaining home mortgages and operating more than 3,000 local public-housing authorities.” The fact that there are today more than 3,000 local PHA’s, more than half a century after LBJ implemented his “War on Poverty” programs, stands as a bleak testament to the abject failure of these programs. Rather than lifting poor Americans out of poverty, they have actually facilitated and bred generational poverty and welfare dependency, all to serve the twisted interests of the Democrat Party.
Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once wrote of his experiences with poverty in Europe, declaring, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
These sentiments seem to be echoed in the words of Dr. Carson, who wrote in a WaPo op-ed, “These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse. … There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”
Carson also said, “We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid,” seeming to reference, as he has previously, the disintegration of the nuclear family and the holocaust of abortion, which has especially devastated the black community.
Ironically, thanks to Obama’s broad interpretations on the limits of his power (and through him, his subordinates), and the practice of “selective enforcement” of the law, Carson will have enormous leverage and leeway in implementing his vision for the reformation of this antiquated federal behemoth, including the unilateral revocation of Obama’s forced integration housing policies using racial quotas for each neighborhood, and tightening requirements for eligibility for, and duration of, federal housing benefits.
Additionally, Carson can oversee staff reductions through attrition, he can cut the department’s budget simply be requesting less money and, like Obama, Carson will also have a phone and a pen, which he can use to put an end to much of the “mandated social engineering schemes” of which he has been a vocal critic.
And that is a very good thing indeed.