October 24, 2021

Ben Carson Answers Questions on Guns, Liberty, Race, God, Big Government…

Ben-CarsonDr. Ben Carson received over one thousand questions from Breitbart.com readers. He answers ten of those questions in below.

Patti Mason, Livingston, Texas asks:

I would like to know what your stance is on the 2nd Amendment, especially in regard to remarks you made earlier about you not being sure if ownership of certain weapons should be allowed in certain areas. In my opinion, and in most of 2nd Amendment supporters’ opinions, “shall not be infringed” means just that. If your stance has changed, I would like to know why and when.

Dr. Ben Carson:

Actually, my stance has never changed. My stance was articulated in an awkward way early on, when I entered the political fray, I subsequently learned that when you talk about things like the 2nd Amendment, your first statement is, “The 2nd Amendment cannot, in any way, be compromised.” It is such an important part of our freedoms. It was Daniel Webster who said that people of America would never suffer under tyranny because they are armed, and I believe that with all my heart and would never compromise the 2nd Amendment.

What I did say is that I would prefer not having a situation where dangerous weapons fell into the hands of unstable people, because then they’re likely to wreak havoc with them. But, you know, that’s way down the line in terms of things that I think are important, and I simply, early on, didn’t recognize that you can’t assume that people know what you’re talking about.

What is your definition of liberty?

Dr. Ben Carson:

Liberty is freedom and it is what America is all about. It’s about being able to live your life as you feel called to lead your life, to have religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, as long as you don’t infringe upon the rights of others. You’ve often heard it said that, you know, your freedom to swing your fist stops at my nose. Well, the same general principle. You can do anything you want, just don’t infringe upon other people in the process of doing that. And our Constitution protects your right to do that.

Rachel McManus Newfoundland, New Jersey asks:

Greetings from NJ. Under the Obama administration, federal agencies have been given unprecedented power over states and citizens. How would President Ben Carson reign in the unelected, unaccountable federal agencies (i.e. EPA, IRS, DOJ, FCC)? And how would you realign these agencies so that the employees cannot continue progressive activism?

Dr. Ben Carson:

Well, remember, all of those agencies are branches of the executive office, which means that the President has control over them, which means you can hire and fire whoever you want in those departments. So, obviously, we would put people in there of like mind who understand that, you know, again, our system is designed for and by the people and not to increase government bureaucracies. So, that’s a pretty easy problem.

We also would not hire people after positions were vacated by retirement. Thousands of people retire from the federal government every year. If we don’t replace them, things will shrink naturally, and if we do that for about three or four years, we’re back down to a size that is quite reasonable and we don’t have a lot of duplication of services and you don’t have a lot of people twiddling their thumbs, interfering in people’s lives because they don’t have anything better to do. I think that’s the way you do it and you redefine the purposes of the various agencies.

The Environmental Protection Agency right now is spending all of their time thwarting the development of our natural resources. I would instead have them work with business, industry, academia to find the cleanest and the most environmentally friendly ways to develop our tremendous energy resources.

Timothy Hodge, Woodbridge, VA asks:

What is your plan to revive the American industrial base? We are not creating capital at the level to sustain the populace and have been bleeding wealth for years. This has caused symptomatic issues in our country like what we have seen in Baltimore and even from my small area that I was born and raised – Martinsville, Virginia. It is a complete travesty of what has been perpetrated on the American people. There is too much of a cozy relationship between government and business.

Dr. Ben Carson:

Well, you know, for one thing, our corporate taxes are way too high. They’re the highest in the developed world and it shouldn’t surprise anybody that many of our businesses seek to do things in other countries because, you know, they don’t go into business to support the government; they go into business to make money. So, we have to create a much friendlier environment here for business and industry and, you know, I would provide a tax holiday for six months so that the two-plus trillion dollars of overseas cash could be repatriated. I would require that 10% of it be used to create jobs for people who are unemployed or on welfare to really jumpstart things in a hurry. That’s the kind of thing that will really make a big difference, particularly in our inner cities.

And, you know, we need to reform the tax code, we need to reform the regulatory codes, so that we create an environment that encourages entrepreneurial risk-taking and capital investment. Those are the kinds of things that really will get that economic engine working once again and when that begins to work, a lot of jobs are created.

We also have to get rid of things like the employer mandate in Obamacare. It used to be, you know, when somebody started a new business, they were so proud, they’d call their mom, they said, “Mom, I started a new business. I got 20 employees,” and the next year they had 30 and then 40. Now, uh-oh, better stop, because if we hit 50 then the employer mandate kicks in; all of our profits are gone. That’s the very backbone of America, small businesses; we cannot be interfering with it with these kinds of asinine regulations.

J.P. Spikes, San Diego, California asks:

Dr. Carson, I view the (expensive to anyone who works and has to pay for) “affordable” care act as adding government intervention to an already bad health care/insurance scam system that has been broken for many years now in the US. There is no health insurance in the US for someone who works anymore, only some co-pay once you reach a deductible. Obamacare has created Emergency Health Insurance for all, except the very poor who have all expenses paid. How would you fix the current medical system in the United States if you had the opportunity to serve as President? Thank You, J.P.

Dr. Ben Carson:

I think we need to offer a viable alternative, and the one that I would offer surrounds health savings accounts which would be available to every American on the day that they are born and they would keep until the day that they die, at which time they could pass it on to their family. And I would pay for it with the very same dollars that we pay for traditional healthcare with and you would have control, then, of your health savings account just like you have control of your regular savings account. And you give people the ability to shift money within their health savings account in their family.

So, let’s say the mom is $500 short. Dad could give it to ‘em, to her out of his, or cousin, or uncle, or grandfather, anybody in the family. It makes every family basically their own insurance company with no middle-man. Imagine the savings that could be achieved under those kinds of circumstances. Plus, it gives you enormous flexibility to cover almost anything that comes up, certainly 80+% of all medical encounters easily taken care of through your HSA.

You would still get catastrophic healthcare coverage, but the cost of that would be much, much lower, because it would be like having a homeowner’s policy with a large deductible, which is a different animal than a homeowner’s policy in which you want every single thing covered. And you make it possible to buy it across state lines, which lowers it even further. Now, that’s going to work pretty darn well for the vast majority of people, but what about the indigent? How’re we gonna take care of them? We don’t have a good mechanism to fund their HSA, but in fact, we do. It’s called Medicaid and that’s how we take care of them now. The annual Medicaid budget, four to five hundred billion dollars a year, a quarter of the people participate, that’s 80 million people. 80 million into 400 billion goes 5,000 times.

So, $5,000 for every man, woman, and child. That’s how much we put aside now. What could you buy with that? A concierge practice, the boutique practice that rich people buy, usually costs two to three thousand dollars a year, and you still have a couple thousand dollars left over to buy catastrophic insurance. I’m not suggesting that you do that; I’m saying you put aside enough money in order to do that. And if we utilize that money in the correct way, it could have a profound effect, particularly on the indigent, giving them much better care, giving them total choice. They don’t have to be second-class citizens, everybody would be happy to see them.

And also, a lot of the people in Washington say, “Well, poor people would be too stupid; they wouldn’t be able to manage a health savings account,” they like to say stuff like that; it’s not true. They said the same thing about food stamps, they said, “They wouldn’t be able to manage ‘em, they’d go out and buy a Porterhouse steak the first five days and then starve the rest of the month.” That didn’t happen; they learned how to use them. And that same thing will happen with health savings accounts.

Mr. Jones, with that diabetic foot ulcer, will not go to the emergency room, where it costs him five times as much to get taken care of; they’ll go to the clinic, get it taken care of, and then in the clinic, instead of sending them out in the emergency room, they’ll say, “Let’s get your diabetes under control so you’re not back here in three weeks with another major problem,” a whole other level of savings, plus we’re teaching him to be responsible for his own health and that’s what we need to do: teach people to be responsible and not dependent.

Tom Gates, Tuscon, Arizona asks:

Why do you seek the presidency of the United States for your FIRST elected office? I know you are a highly accomplished medical doctor, but starting at the top seems backwards.

Dr. Ben Carson:

Well, interestingly enough, I had no intention of seeking the office of presidency of the United States. But, after the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, there were hundreds of thousands of people just clamoring for me to do this and I thought it was silly and I said, “This will all die down,” but it never did. And, in fact, it continued to grow and I began to listen to people, and it became apparent to me that it was going to be something that was going to persist.

A lot of elderly people said they had given up on America. They no longer thought that it was worth living and that began to bother me and I began to look into the situation, study what was going on in Washington, D.C. and then, you know, it dawned on me that our system of government was designed of, for, and by the people and for citizen statesmen to be the representatives of the people and not career politicians, because what we need are people who have a track record of being able to solve complex problems, of being able to work with others to use that synergy to actually solve problems.

Those are things that I’ve had significant experience with along with decades of corporate board experience, starting a national non-profit, you know, I’ve been recognized with the highest honor they have at 68 different colleges and universities with honorary degrees. You know, these are things that you’re not gonna find among anybody else, quite frankly, running for president. So, if you think, you know, all of those accomplishments is subjugated to a career as a political bureaucrat, you know, then yes, we could continue down that same road, but I think we’d probably get the same result.

Linda Michaelson, Tulsa, Oklahoma asks:

Dr Carson: Do you believe God is working through you to show the American people how to turn their country around and return it to its true and righteous destiny?

Dr. Ben Carson:

I do believe that God is heavily involved here because, quite honestly, I was intending, after a very arduous career in neurosurgery, to retire and to relax, and my wife was looking forward even more than I was. But, you know, sometimes the Lord has a different plan for you and, you know, as it began to become apparent to me that, you know, I was supposed to move in this direction, I still wasn’t that enthusiastic, and I said, “Lord, I really am not all that anxious to move into the political arena, but if you truly want me to do this, then you need to open the doors because all the pundits say that it’s impossible for someone like myself to organize a national campaign, to have enough financing, to be able to carry out a national campaign, so if you want me to do it, then you’ll just have to prove them wrong.” And, interestingly enough, he has proven them wrong, he continues to open the doors, and I promised him and I promise you that I will continue to walk through the doors as long as they are open. If they close, I’ll sit out.

Jordan Hastings, Northport, Alabama asks:

Dr. Carson, most Americans would agree that the black and white races have been pitted against each other, largely due to media bias and rhetoric, but also because the Democrats benefit from it. How high on your list is repairing the racial divide among Americans, and how will you do it?

Dr. Ben Carson:

That’s very high on my list. You know, there’re a lot of divides that need to be repaired. You know, there’s a war on women, there’s racial wars, there’s income wars, there’s age wars, there’s religious wars, it seems like they’re trying to drive wedges into every single aspect of our society. And, you know, we need to start concentrating on those things that we have in common, not those things that divide us. That’s why we’re called the United States of America, and I think the bully pulpit is an excellent place from which to make sure that people understand that and encourage us to work together, you know, encourage in our inner cities police departments to introduce the police officers early on so that little Johnny’s first experience with a policeman is somebody playing catch with him, not somebody chasing him down the alley with a gun.

Those are the kinds of things that will make a huge difference in our society and also, you know, getting business, industry, academia, Wall Street, churches, community groups to understand the importance of investing in people around them, investing particularly in the downtrodden among them. It’s those relationships that bring people out of dismal situations and the more people that we bring out, the fewer people we have to support.

Steve Benner, Bethpage, New York asks:

Dr. Carson, I am a Social Studies Teacher in New York State and am greatly worried about the increasing federal overreach by the Department of Education. What especially would you do with that issue?

Dr. Ben Carson:

Well, you know, the Department of Education has 4,200 employees with average annual compensation of $135,000, by the way. We don’t need anywhere near that, and we don’t need anywhere near the overreach of the Education Department into everybody’s lives. We all know that the best education is the education that is closest to home, particularly when parents are involved, and we need to make sure that parents have choice. You know, not just public schools but charter schools and, you know, home schooling, private schools, all of these are things that should be made available to people through vouchers and other types of programs.

That will benefit us all because education is the great divide, and we want to make sure that we have the strongest education possible throughout the world.

John Baxter, Downingtown, Pennsylvania asks:

You do not have experience in any of the areas that the other candidates may be bringing with them. For example: International Relations; National Security; the Economy; and administering a large governmental body. How would you make up for your shortcomings in those areas? We already have an inexperienced President, do we need another?

Dr. Ben Carson:

Okay, interestingly enough, experience comes from a variety of different areas. There’re a lot of people who’ve been bullied, almost, into thinking that the only place valid experience can come from is the political arena. I think that that is categorically false and, in fact, if you look at the political experience of everyone in Congress today, it comes out to just under 9,000 years. Where has that great experience gotten us?

I, on the other hand, have had a career of solving extremely complex medical problems and in many cases things that no one’s ever done before. I’ve had decades of experience in corporate America, learning how to make things work, not only in this country, but in other countries, and I’ve put together, along with my wife, a national scholarship program. Nine out of ten, you know, programs of that type fail. Ours not only has not failed; it’s won multiple national awards that are only given to one organization each year in the country. That tells you how successful it is.

So, the point being that experience can come from a variety of different areas and what is truly important is passion and common sense and the ability to solve problems. The reason that America went from zero to the pinnacle of the world in record time is not because we were overflowing with experienced politicians, but rather because we were overflowing with people who believed in personal responsibility, hard work, and compassion for others.

Harvey Bloom, Merrimack, New Hampshire asks:

How would you break the bond between the legislators and crony capitalism? There seems to be zero interest in the Federal Government for zero-based budgeting and using GAAP rules that are used to disclose financials of companies in a uniform manner.

Dr. Ben Carson:

Well, there really is no room, as far as I’m concerned, for all these special interest groups and people who gain favors from the government utilizing taxpayers’ resources. It makes absolutely no sense, at all. It’s one of the reasons that, in my campaign, I have personally refused to go after special interest group money. I have refused to lick the boots of billionaires and beg them for their resources. I welcome their resources if they have no interest in trying to influence policies and if they’re interested in just seeing America flourish, absolutely, I would welcome those, but there are relatively few of them who are like that. And a Carson administration would adhere to exactly those same principles.