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Ben Carson Has Absolutely No Idea What He’s Doing

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson appeared for an oversight hearing recently, and it went about as badly as expected:

At a hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Al Green grilled Housing Secretary Ben Carson about the $6 billion cuts to HUD outlined in the federal budget proposal the Trump administration released in March.

Federal officials testifying before Congress typically try to say as little of import as possible, and this session was no exception

Carson has a point in declining to discuss the numbers: Why go over the fantasy budget that Trump released seven months ago, which even Republicans said was crazy? Cutting 13 percent of the HUD budget would make thousands of families homeless overnight.

Still, one of the HUD chief’s main roles is to advocate for the agency and the people who depend on it. Carson has never seemed interested in that, even as the plight of poor Americans without federal housing assistance grows more and more dire. Last month, he told PlanPhilly’s Jake Blumgart that it “didn’t matter” what the final department budget was.

Here’s the video:

You will recall that when Carson was first floated as a possible Cabinet slot after the election it was reported that he rebuffed the idea because he didn’t believe he was qualified for the role. He seems to be proving that he was right. Unfortunately for him, he apparently forgot that advice when Trump offered him this position.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. SenyorDave says:

    If Trump is an effing moron, Carson seems at least one notch below that. At one point, moron, imbecile and idiot literally were scientific terms, used to define IQ ranges. I’ll go with Carson being a an effin imbecile, since that is the term right below moron (idiot is below imbecile). Maybe we should put a call into Tillerson for his take on Carson.

    It is pretty sad that it has come to this. Trump’s cabinet is a mix of corruption, incompetence and sheer stupidity. Anyone who can defend Trump and the modern GOP has to be placing party over country. In my lifetime no party has ever been so openly disinterested in the well-being of the country as the current Republicans. It was too late, but I will give some credit to Corker, Flake and McCain.

    I happened to read an opinion piece the other day by a conservative who is not a fan of Trump comparing the Republican party of today to the Democrats in 1972, saying they were both off the rails. The writer cited that George McGovern was the Democratic candidate, and posited that he was the Democratic version of Trump. My first thought was that he certainly couldn’t have meant the George McGovern who ran for president. Not the George McGovern who was war hero, history professor with a lifetime of public service. Talk about false equivalences!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @SenyorDave: Feeling snarky I’ll also add that, unlike McCain, McGovern was actually good at being a bomber pilot. Check WIKI. Among other things, like landing a shot up B-24 in an impossibly small farm field, he wasn’t captured.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Still, one of the HUD chief’s main roles is to advocate for the agency and the people who depend on it.

    Well, yes…traditionally.
    In today’s Republican Party Cabinet Members are intended to dismantle their respective agencies.
    See, for instance: Perry/Energy, Pruitt/EPA, DeVos/Education, Zinke/Interior and, of course, Carson/HUD.
    Add to the mix non-cabinet appointments like Barry Myers/NOAA, and Jim Bridenstine/NASA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  4. M. Bouffant says:

    Absolutely horrifying. As someone w/ a Section 8 housing voucher, if this idiot (Or is he just being a complete jerk?) cuts vouchers I may well be back on the street, sleeping under playground equipment in a public park again. Not that it will matter if they take billions from Medicare & Social Security, then I’ll just be dead before my time, essentially murdered by greedy Republicans.

    Make America Great Again!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. al-Ameda says:

    It’s quite clear to most people that Trump’s cabinet is there for the primary purpose of burning it down (‘it’ being as much of the federal government structure as is possible.) There is not one cabinet member who is dedicated to the mission of the department that they are appointed to direct.

    This is a putsch-like national version of the ongoing failure that we know as the “Back-to-Zero Kansas Experiment.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Maybe it’s not such a good idea to make a token black person the head of HUD…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Jen says:

    This administration is the most corrupt and inept ever. The Greeks gave us a word for this: kakistocracy. Definition according to Dictionary.com: “government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.”

    Pretty much sums it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SenyorDave:

    but I will give some credit to Corker, Flake and McCain.

    Why is it when I think of those 3 a vision of rats and ships pops into my head?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @M. Bouffant:

    I may well be back on the street, sleeping under playground equipment in a public park again. Not that it will matter if they take billions from Medicare & Social Security, then I’ll just be dead before my time, essentially murdered by greedy Republicans.

    Awwww… C’mon now….

    You are saying that as if you didn’t believe that is the goal of the Republican party all along.

    This is the same message that the have been saying for the last 30 years.

    Only now, the knives are sharper while average America is in disbelief that it will be THEM that gets the cuts.

    If billionaires can spend a millions to save 10’s of millions, then they will.

    And you and are just dirt under the wheels of their libertarian visions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. DrDaveT says:

    @al-Ameda:

    There is not one cabinet member who is dedicated to the mission of the department that they are appointed to direct.

    Secretary of Defense.

    I can’t speak to his competence, but he is definitely dedicated to the mission.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0