Ben Carson's Political Views
Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon and the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Previously, he was one of many candidates running for the Republican Presidential Nomination in the 2016 election, ultimately losing the race for the nomination to Donald Trump. Before entering politics, Carson practiced medicine for approximately 30 years and was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the most prestigious teaching hospitals in the country. Carson retired from the world of medicine in 2013 in order to pursue a career in politics and has been a vocal advocate for many conservative issues and causes since then.
Carson announced his candidacy for President in May of 2015 and performed relatively well in some early polls, outperforming leading GOP politicians such as Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Lindsey Graham. However, Carson did not come close to winning any caucuses and primaries, and he ultimately suspended his campaign in early spring. Despite his terrible performance and lack of political experience, Donald Trump named him HUD Secretary in 2017. This article will attempt to take an unbiased looked at Carson's expressed political views on the critical issues currently being debated in Washington.
Carson on the Issues
1. Economy and Taxes
Carson has consistently criticized the federal budget deficit, stating that "One of the things that is going to destroy us as a nation is our debt" while speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Carson has called for simplifying the tax system to something similar to a flat tax, as he stated in 2014: "What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he's given us a system. It's called a tithe." Carson is one of a few GOP Presidential candidates to favor an increase in the federal minimum wage (currently at $7.25 an hour), stating in May of 2015: "I think, probably, it should be higher than now", though he has yet to specify how much it should be increased.
2. Health Care
Carson has been a strong opponent of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010. In October 2013, during a speech to the "Value Voters Summit" in Washington DC, Carson stated that the ACA was "the worst thing to happen to this country since slavery...And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way." Carson has called for Obamacare to be repealed and replace if he is elected President.
3. Global Warming and Environmental issues
Carson has refused to acknowledge global warming, telling reporters in 2014 "You can ask it several different ways, but my answer is going to be the same," he said. "We may be warming. We may be cooling." Carson has called for the Environmental Protection Agency to "work in conjunction with business, industry, and universities to find the most eco-friendly ways of developing our energy resources", but has not offered specific solutions for combating the potentially disastrous affects of climate change.
4. Foreign Policy
Dr. Carson has been sharply critical of the deal that President Obama reached with Iran to end that country's nuclear program, calling it "a recipe for disaster and the first fateful step toward a frenzied nuclear arms race in the Middle East." He also has suggested that a possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be transferring the Gaza strip to Egyptian sovereignty. As Carson explained during an interview in March 2015: "I don’t have any problem with the Palestinians having a state, but does it need to be within the confines of Israeli territory? Is that necessary, or can you sort of slip that area down into Egypt? Right below Israel, they have some amount of territory, and it can be adjacent."
5. Gay Rights
Carson has repeatedly made strong statements against gay marriage, and drew some criticism in 2013 when appeared on Fox News and stated "Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition." Carson has also said that homosexuality is "absolutely" a choice and explained this claim by stating "a lot of people go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay."
6. Immigration Policy
Dr. Carson has made a number of statements calling for a two-pronged approach to immigration reform. The first would involve sealing the border using "a host of options to monitor the border, including technology such as drones." The second involves "turning off the spigot that dispenses the goodies," a reference to federal entitlement programs. Carson has also spoke of the possibility of a guest worker program for certain immigrants provided that they register and pay taxes.