If people thought Ben Carson was unqualified to be the Secretary of Housing And Urban Development, they may want to thank their lucky stars he wasn’t nominated to lead the Treasury Department.
The retired world-famous neurosurgeon-turned Republican politician recently decided to weigh into the decidedly partisan fray surrounding President Joe Biden‘s $6 trillion budget, which ups the ante considerably when it comes to government spending. If approved, Biden’s budget would invest in infrastructure, jobs, childcare and early childhood education and seek to reposition Americans economically and socially by incorporating both the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.
Appearing on, of course, Fox News, Carson criticized Biden’s budget as being too expensive with negative repercussions for coming generations. He said because he spent his entire medical career in pediatrics, he was “concerned about the welfare of children and seeing what we’re doing to their future.”
He also said Biden’s budget will be “creating mounds of amazing debt that someone’s gonna have to deal with” and suggested that “the impact of flooding the system with money but not having the equivalent abundant of service and goods … automatically creates inflation.”
Of course, what Carson is conveniently omitting from the budgetary equation is that former President Donald Trump “built a national debt so big (even before the pandemic) that it’ll weigh down the economy for years,” as Pro Publica summed it up earlier this year.
That sounds conspicuously like the “mounds of amazing debt that someone’s gonna have to deal with” that Carson said he was worried Biden would create. There is also no record of Carson objecting to Trump’s budgets that inflated the national deficit to the historic levels that Biden inherited.
Carson has also had a less-than-stellar record when it came to HUD’s own budget. Most recently, he was blasted by Democrats for the tone-deaf move of slashing HUD’s budget by nearly $9 billion as the pandemic worsened last year, the Hill reported at the time. He acknowledged cutting housing assistance programs that he admitted were effective while similarly worrying that “difficult budget choices need to be made to prevent future generations from inheriting a mountain of debt.”
Carson said he wanted those programs funded by states, not the government.
However, Carson hasn’t always been so, er, fiscally responsible, shall we say?
For instance, when it came to furnishing his HUD office, he had absolutely no problem billing the federal government a whopping $31,561 for a dining room set. In fact, Carson was even forced to testify before the House Appropriations Committee about the exorbitant spending on America’s dime. When he did, he threw his wife under the bus and blamed her for buying it.
All of which is to say that maybe Ben Carson isn’t really the right person to invite on a news show to offer an honest assessment of the federal budget, or, really, anything related to the economy or finance.
This is America.