Huffington Post - Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) asked Carson what’s the best thing government could do for someone receiving government assistance.
“Get them off of it,” Carson said.
Tillis then asked if the government has “gone from providing housing to providing warehousing for an unacceptable number of people who are supported to the federal government.”
“The key to your question was the word ‘unacceptable,’ and yes, absolutely,” Carson said.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs, which benefit nearly 5 million American households, are relatively stingy compared to the amount of need that exists. Unlike programs such as food stamps, simply being poor enough to qualify for rental assistance doesn’t guarantee it, and roughly 14 million eligible households get no help. Meanwhile, 11 million renters spend over half their income on rent.
After Carson said it’s “unacceptable” how burdensome housing expenses are for some families, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) asked whether he supports raising the minimum wage. Carson’s answer suggested that he doesn’t, though it wasn’t completely clear.
“I support creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurial risk-taking and capital investment, which are the engines that drove America from ‘no place’ to ‘pinnacle of the world’ in record time,” he said.
Brown asked if Carson’s answer meant he doesn’t support the minimum wage.
“It means exactly that my philosophy is that we can increase people’s minimum wages by increasing opportunities for them and creating environments for those opportunities to exist, rather than artificially trying to change it,” Carson replied.
NPR - Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would not say that housing properties owned by Trump won't benefit from HUD programs at his confirmation hearing.
The former neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate was pressed on the matter by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who asked Carson for assurance "that of all the housing grants he [has] the ability to bestow," not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family.
Carson responded it would not be his intention "to do anything to benefit any American," quickly adding that anything the department does "is for all Americans." Carson said, "If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that's working for millions of people, and it turns out that someone that you're targeting is going to gain, you know, $10 from it, am I going to say 'no'?" Carson asked. "Logic and common sense probably would be the best way."
Trump's family made its fortune in real estate, and it still owns some rental properties in New York. Trump has refused to divest his assets, and Warren, who tangled with Trump during the campaign, charged the president-elect is "hiding his family's business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America."