When Dr. Ben Carson was nominated to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, congressional Democrats mocked President Trump for the pick. They argued that Carson had no experience in the field and that he’d be unable to manage such an important organization… after all, Carson is “just” a brain surgeon, not a politician.
However, when Carson arrived at HUD what he found was an agency that could not have been managed more poorly if it’s former Director, Democrat Julian Castro, had been trying to criminally defraud the nation. In fact, while Democrats had been arguing that Julian Castro was doing a brilliant job at HUD, he was actually running up over $500 BILLION in errors!
Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) financial books are in such bad shape that HUD’s Inspector General (IG) can’t complete an audit even after HUD officials corrected $520 billion in bookkeeping errors, according to a new IG report.
These same problems have been reported for three straight years by the IG.
Now, Dr. Carson, the man that Democrats called unworthy of the position, is promising to make an honest agency out of HUD. He is promising to take it from being one of the most corrupt agencies in the federal government to the most honest. Dr. Carson appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Thursday and assured the eponymous host that he would not rest until he fixed the problems at HUD.
Hewitt: Now traditionally, I go back to the Reagan years when I started in government. HUD has always been a garden of corruption. Bad stories come out of HUD over the course of four to eight years. It seems like inevitably, a scandal erupts. How are you putting up guardrails to prevent that from happening in the Carson tenure at HUD?
Carson: Well, we’re already putting in place a structure so that we can monitor where every penny goes… You know, when I started doing that, these people looked at me like I had six heads… But I think they’re starting to understand, you know, what we’re doing now. That will make a huge difference. People, my goal is to change that perception completely, to be the most honest department in the government.
Hewitt: Oh, that’s a great goal. That’s a terrific goal. Now let me talk to you about the President. How much time do you get to talk with him about your agenda, whether it’s Liberty City or the inner city, or whether it’s developmentally disabled or families in crisis? How much time do you get on his calendar?
Carson: Pretty much anytime I want. And we’re quite well-aligned. You know, we’ve talked about the goals of empowering people, not maintaining people, not just putting a roof over people’s head, recognizing that if we’re going to develop our population, you have to take a holistic approach looking at education, looking at health care, transportation, looking at, you know, job creation. All of these things are important. And you know, we’re trying to eliminate a lot of poverty, also. And you have to understand, what are the factors that drive poverty in our country? You’re probably familiar with the Brookings Institute study, a big study, that said there are three things that a person can do that will reduce their chances of living in poverty to 2% or less. Number one, graduate from high school, number two, get married, and number three, wait until you are married to have children…
Those three things, you know, you get a 98-plus percent chance of not living in poverty. And yet, we don’t talk about these things. To some degree, it’s become taboo to talk about these kinds of things. And you know, we need to bring that back into the mix when you’re developing a community. You know, almost every community has schools that are all boarded up. Well, open those back up and make them into vision centers where we have people in there who can help the young people realize there’s more than just five occupations. There’s thousands of occupations, and what do you need to do in order to prepare yourself for those occupations? And you know, we need child care for the young girls who get pregnant. Their education ends at that point. And they become dependents. What we need to be able to do is give them that opportunity to get that GED, get their associates degree, their Bachelor’s degree, their Master’s degree, become independent and teach that to their children so we can begin to break these cycles of poverty. Unless we begin to take a holistic approach like that, the patchwork will never work.