Ben Carson on Budget & Economy

Tea Party challenger in Republican primary


Stop tinkering around the edges & address the problem

Q: Do you think big banks should be broken up?

A: I think we should have policies that don't allow them to just enlarge themselves at the expense of smaller entities. But what does help us is to stop tinkering around the edges and fix the actual problems that exist that are creating the problem in the first place.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Raise debt limit on condition of making cuts

Q: The US is about to hit its debt limit. Do you think it should be raised?

CARSON: We get into this question every year. It's ridiculous that we wait until we're right up against the wall and then we say, yes, we've got to raise it or we're going to default. What we need to do is, at the beginning of the financial cycle, determine where we're going to make the cuts so that we don't wind up in this situation every single year.

Q: But this is money we've already spent. These are bills we have to pay

CARSON: Well, I recognize that our backs are up against the wall in a couple of weeks and we have to do that in order to prevent a default. However, this should be the last time we have to do it.

Q: So you would raise it this time but not again?

CARSON: I would raise it this time with the stipulation that we are going to go and look at those 645 government agencies and sub-agencies and we're going to find fat and we're going to get rid of it.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Oct 18, 2015

Raise debt ceiling, but ensure you won't have to do it again

Q: Let me ask you a question about the debt limit. It's set to expire on the 5th of November. The government runs out of the ability to borrow. There's been a little confusion about your position on that. What should Congress do about raising the debt limit in early November, when it's set to expire?

CARSON: If I were in charge right now, I would not cause us to default on that. But what I would say is, this is the last time that's happening. And we would tie the raising of that debt limit to some very significant actions, so that we're not here again next year, because, as you know, this is something that happens year after year. We always get right up to the deadline. Now it's do or die, and you're forced to do it. And that's a stupid way to run the government.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview by Bob Schieffer , Oct 11, 2015

$18T national debt pales with $200T liability fiscal gap

We have a national debt of greater than $18 trillion. What a ridiculous amount of money. I mean, a million is a lot. A billion is a thousand million. And a trillion is thousand billion. And we're talking over 18 trillion (dollars). To pay that back at a rate of $10 million a day, 365 days a year, it would take you over 5,000 years. And that's what we're putting on the backs of our young people. But that's the good news, because it's actually much worse than that, because the fiscal gap--it's the amount of unfunded liabilities that we have as a nation--Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all the departmental programs. So you look at that amount versus the amount of revenue expected to be brought in through taxes and other revenue sources. Those two numbers should be almost identical if you are responsible. However, when you're not, there's a gap. And you bring that up to today's dollars and you're talking a fiscal gap which is over $200 trillion. It is a staggering amount of money.
Source: 10th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2015 , Sep 25, 2015

Release the economic engine; regulations fetter it down

We have to be fiscally responsible and simultaneously release the most powerful economic engine the world has ever known, rather than fettering it down with all kinds of regulations and requirements. We have the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. So why are we surprised when companies want to go overseas? People do not go into business to support the government, they go into business to make money. A wise government creates an environment that is conducive to business, so that we draw businesses in instead of pushing them away. One of the things that led to the explosion of economic activity that took America in 1776 to the pinnacle of the economic world in less than 100 years was the fact that we had an environment conducive to innovation, hard work and entrepreneurship.
Source: WorldNetDaily OpEd by Carson, for 2016 Trump transition , May 4, 2015

Let the economy work the way it's supposed to

If you let the economy work the way it's supposed to in a free market environment, there'll be plenty of jobs and people determine their own value by what they know and what they are capable of doing.
Source: NewsMaxTV: "Obama Wages Workers Employment" , Jan 31, 2014

The free market works

there'll be plenty of jobs and people determine their own value by what they know and what they are capable of doing. Q
Source: NewsMax.com "Wages workers employment" , Jan 31, 2014

1990s deregulation paved way for 2008 economic meltdown

Some degree of government regulation is necessary for our large financial institutions to prevent the kinds of tragedies that occurred during and immediately after the great stock market crash of 1929 and again in 2008. The real shame is that we did not recognize the importance of financial regulation after the great crash of 1929 and appropriately developed safeguards in the 1930s. Unfortunately, we decided to deregulate during the 1990s, paving the way for the economic meltdown in 2008.

When it comes to defending the economic viability of our nation, ir is načve to count on the honesty and integrity of people responsible for our markets when they stand to gain so much by manipulating the system to their advantage. If we become paranoid and overregulate the financial markets, however, we will not see peak performances from them. This is one of the reasons that a balance of viewpoints in our legislative bodies is not only healthy but also necessary.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 78-79 , Jan 24, 2012

Cut every agency spending by 10%, with no exceptions

Both Democrats and Republicans have strayed so far from the path of responsible financial policy that the concept of balancing the budget is foreign to them. I believe many of them simply cannot grasp the concept of only spending what you have. I do understand that making budgetary cuts will be painful, but it will not be nearly as painful as going bankrupt!

I believe the logical approach would be to have each governmental agency and department trim its budget by 10% -- with no exceptions. In each subsequent year, another 10% decrease would be required and would continue as long as necessary to bring the budget back into balance. This would mean there would be no sacred cows and no sparing of entitlements. No politician, agency, or special interest group could cry foul.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.108-109 , Jan 24, 2012

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