Carson went on The View earlier today and when discussing the topic of losers living on welfare had this to say:
When you rob someone of their incentive to go out there and improve themselves, you are not doing them any favors. When you take somebody and pat them on the head and say, ‘There, there, you poor little thing. … Let me give you housing subsidies, let me give you free health care because you can’t do that.’ What would be much more empowering is to use our intellect and our resources to give those people a way up and out.”
He said this in front of The View co-host, Whoopi Goldberg, herself being a welfare mother. As you could probably guess, doing such a thing made the wingnutosphere go wild with joy.
Joe Saunders from Bizpac Review:
He might or might not run for president, but there isn’t a better spokesman for conservative values in America today.Cheryl Chumley from the Washington Times:
Ben Carson took to “The View” stage this week to explain to his mostly liberal hosts and largely liberal audience just why the liberal-driven welfare system stinks — and he emerged not only unscathed, but a big winner.The Right Scoop:
But I must say, that after watching this interview, he might be closer to a presidential type than I had originally thought.
See here's the thing, though. It turns out that for some strange reason, the evil welfare system didn't seem to destroy the incentive for his own mother to go out and make things better for her and her family:
No doubt, Mother Carson deserves tremendous credit, but – in the words of a political sound bite from the last presidential election – she didn’t do it alone. Carson, in his book, tells how his grades improved tremendously when a government program provided him with free eyeglasses because he could barely see. Not only that, in “Gifted Hands” we read this nugget: “By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.”
Well, isn't that interesting? Ah, but you see, Carson has an excuse as to why the situation with his mother is completely different from the situations with everyone else currently on welfare:
It’s hard not to see Carson’s own upbringing coming into view here. He grew up in meager surroundings in Detroit and Boston, in a family that made use of public assistance programs like food stamps. The culture was different then, Carson insists. “I think there was a time when people were not proud of taking handouts,” he said. “There were more people who did have that drive and determination. You do what you have to do."So according to Carson, it's okay to accept government assistance as long as you feel bad about it. And he seems to think that nobody who is on welfare today feels shame, cause apparently nobody seems to demonize it or anything. But even so, what about all that stuff about self reliance and bootstrapping and whatnot? Once you accept government aid, doesn't Ronald Reagan begin weeping from White Heaven?
He goes on to say:
Did food stamps allow me to achieve my dream?” He laughed. “Of course not.”
Directly contradicting what he said in his book:
He writes elsewhere, “As I’ve said, we received food stamps and couldn’t have made it without them.”
The depressing thing about all this is that conservatives won't see this inconvenient little bit of history as an example of hypocrisy. Why? Because while Carson himself may have grown up on welfare, he's now espousing policies that make sure other people can't get on welfare, so it's totally cool (this is an actual defense that I've seen thrown around by right-wing bloggers, by the way). After all, did the fact that former vice presidential candidate and child prodigy, Paul Ryan supported himself with the social security benefits of his deceased father hurt his status as a conservative ubermensch in the least? Of course not. And it won't hurt Carson either.
Watch the interview: