Issues

Economic Issues

Economy & Debt

“Our continued fiscal irresponsibility not only threatens the financial well-being of the next generation of Americans, it also increasingly jeopardizes U.S. security. Our international influence is weakened as our borrower status makes us vulnerable to threats from Mr. Putin and others. Perhaps worst of all, if our status as the world’s reserve currency issuer changes, there could be a dramatic decline in our standard of living.”

Jobs

“The job market in America is quite challenging today, and it is well known that in most states, an individual can collect as much if not more from food stamps, housing subsidies and health care subsidies than he can by working a minimum-wage job. If one is only interested in being sustained, accepting many forms of public aid makes a great deal of sense. However, if the goal is to pursue the American dream, taking even minimum-wage jobs makes even more sense.”

“I fully understand the uncertainty of the economic environment in which we live, but those with resources should do all they can to support and encourage young people who are stepping out in faith — frequently for the first time — looking for a job. Even a part-time job can lead to the acquisition of important skills. The more we groom our youth for success, the more we secure the future of our nation and the pursuit of happiness for all.”

"For decades, China has focused on competing with the U.S. and unfortunately our so-called “leaders” have no plan. I would approach things differently. The U.S. needs to use our natural resources to our advantage. China sure has been doing so. We can compete with China on labor rates because of our efficiency and shipping costs. But frankly, the federal government – particularly the EPA – has been hindering domestic business to the benefit of the Chinese. What if we had a president that actually wanted to help business create jobs, a president that was willing to travel the globe and bring jobs back to the U.S. once our tax code and regulations were job-friendly. I want to be that President. I want to bring business to America, not chase it out of the country."

Taxes

"Many alternative forms of taxation are used throughout the world, but the model that appeals most to me is based on biblical tithing. Under that system, everyone was required to pay one-tenth of their income to the designated authorities of the theocracy. You were not excused if you experienced a crop failure, nor were you asked to pay triple tithes if you had a bumper crop. Under this system, the man with the bumper crop obviously would pay a lot more in tithes than the man who experienced the crop failure.”

"Some would say this system would not be fair because it doesn’t hurt the billionaire as much as it hurts the teacher. The problem with this line of reasoning is that no one can be completely objective in determining exactly how much each person should be hurt. Proportionality eliminates this dilemma and simplifies things to the point where we don’t need complex agencies such as the IRS."

Union

“In the early days unions brought about the kind of collective bargaining that resulted in fair wages and reasonable working conditions. With time, many of the union bosses began to concern themselves with power and influence. By threatening strikes to further their causes, they were able to exact excessive wages and benefits from companies such as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, in the long run crippling these companies and rendering them noncompetitive. Essentially they were strangling the goose that laid the golden egg.”

Source:

America the Beautiful: What Makes This Country Great – Ben Carson, M.D. with Candy Carson, Zondervan, 2012

Social Issues

Abortion

“My entire professional life has been devoted to saving and enhancing lives. Thus, the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me.”

“It is important to try to understand the emotional state of young women seeking an abortion. Instead of judging and condemning them, we need to provide compassion and support. They need to be provided with easy access to adoption services and information about assistance available to them if they decide to keep the baby. I have visited many warm, inviting facilities around the country that exist solely for the purpose of helping these young women.”

“Many of us turn a blind eye to the wanton slaughter of millions of helpless human babies who are much more sophisticated than some of the other creatures, when nothing is at stake other than the convenience of one or both parents. I am not saying that we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. Rather I am saying shouldn’t we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list?”

Affirmative Action

“Today, there are many young people from a variety of racial backgrounds who are severely deprived economically and could certainly benefit from the extension of a helping hand in education, employment and other endeavors. The real question is this: Who should receive extra consideration from a nation that has a tradition of cheering for the underdog? I believe underdog status is not determined any longer by race. Rather, it is the circumstances of one’s life that should be considered.”

Education

Common Core: "Education made all the difference in my life. My education was a success not because some employee at the U.S. Department of Education cared, but because my mother cared -- she instilled a love of reading that has nothing to do with external requirements, and everything to do with my own discovery of the opportunities being a learned reader could afford me. I had great teachers who loved teaching. I strongly believe that education decisions need to be made at the local level. It is when parents are working with teachers that makes the best schools. The federal government's role needs to be extensively reviewed to focus on adding value, not "Washington knows best". I oppose Common Core for that reason."

"I stand for empowering local school districts. I think the federal role in education should be mostly limited to research and technology. Forcing districts to teach curricula designed in Washington is something I will never support. Successful schooling requires a hungry mind, an excellent educator, good books, and what is far too often missing -- significant parental involvement. Those are the kinds of reforms you can expect from me. Education is the great divide in this country. Having an education can be a ladder out of poverty and hopelessness. Significant improvement must be a priority."

“There are many in our society who bring only entertainment value. Although I have nothing against sports and entertainment, I believe there is a danger of getting lost in a fantasy world while neglecting the serious things in life such as education and productive work. We must ask ourselves what will maintain the pinnacle position of our nation in the world: the ability to shoot a 25-foot jump shot, or the ability to solve a quadratic equation.”

“Children are especially vulnerable to peer pressure. By providing extra recognition for those outstanding students, many of the other students are encouraged to try harder. We have certainly found this to be the case with the Carson Scholars Fund, which provides scholarships for student who demonstrate both superior academic performance and humanitarian qualities. Some teachers have told us that when we put a Carson scholar in the classroom, the grade-point average of the whole class can go up by as much as one point over the next year.”

School choice obviously plays a huge role. I think having charter schools, having school vouchers, things of that nature are extremely good because unless you are competing for those students, it’s very likely you’re going to become complacent. Schools, and teachers, educators are no different than anybody else. People tend to respond to stimulation, and when there’s no stimulation, they tend to kind of relax. So we need to put the appropriate stimulation there to increase the competitive nature of education.”

Government Dependency

Many people from all backgrounds gave up their freedom, their blood and even their lives to provide a life of liberty and dignity for those trapped by the chains of legal discrimination and hatred. We must not allow their sacrifice to become meaningless by allowing “do-gooders” to replace the chains of overt racism with the new chains of dependency, low expectations, victimhood and misdirected anger. Let’s use our God-given wisdom to outwit the purveyors of division and deceit. Let’s be loyal to the correct values and principles, regardless of the short-term personal cost. The long-term benefits will be well worth it.

"I think he (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) would’ve been appalled if he were here today, to see all these people just sitting around, waiting for housing subsidies and for food stamps and for free health care. What he wanted was equality of opportunity. The last thing that he would be in favor of is redistributing all the wealth and allowing people to just sit around and collect. And when you read a lot of what he says, he’s talking about the merits of hard work and personal responsibility. That’s what he wanted. But during a lot of his time people were not given a fair shake. They were not given fair opportunity. That’s all that he really wanted. He didn’t want special treatment."

Marriage

"Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is a well-established, fundamental pillar of society. And no group — be they gays; it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition. It’s not something that’s against gays. It’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of the pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.”

Racial Issues

“When I take a patient to the operating room and open the cranium, exposing the brain, I am operating on the actual thing that makes that person who they are.”

“We have a choice of concentrating on superficial characteristics, which mean little or nothing, or concentrating on the source of our humanity, our intellect, our personality and the content of our character.”

“We will know that America has made substantial social progress when black Americans are not expected to adhere to any particular political philosophy, just as white Americans do not have a prescribed political doctrine to which they must adhere.”

Perhaps the biggest disappointment for King would be the wholesale adoption of a victim mentality that makes people feel that they are entitled to being cared for by others rather than working tirelessly to create wealth and opportunities for their progeny.

Domestic Issues

Constitution

"We live in a time of unquestioned constitutional challenges. The Supreme Court’s power is only limited by their willingness to abide by the Constitution they swore to protect. But while these challenges will certainly be chronicled in our history books, they are no match for our Constitution. The men and women that run these branches of government will occasionally break their honored pledge, but time is more powerful than any man. We must stand against these unconstitutional acts, but know in the end, time is on our side."

Government and Public Office

“In the scenario originally envisioned by the founding fathers, dedicated citizens served in Congress for a few years and then returned to their original walks of life. But because many in Congress want to keep returning term after term, they need to constantly campaign and seek funding, much of which is obtained from special interest groups. Needless to say, money from these groups is not given without strings attached. One solution to the problem of special interest groups might be to lengthen the term one serves as a representative from 2 years to 6, 8, or even 10 years--with no possibility of reelection. You could couple that term with a right of recall by the populace every other year if the representative were doing an exceptionally bad job. Congressman could then govern based on the wishes of their constituents and pay little or no attention to special interest groups. Can you even imagine how much more efficiently and logically our government would work under such a circumstance?”

“A gigantic, bloated government has to keep itself busy in order to justify its existence; hence, you have more regulations and meddling in the affairs of the people, whether they request it, need it, or not.”

“One of the prime advantages of a small central government was that it would only require a small amount of tax revenue to sustain itself. The Founders knew from studying past civilizations that the nation’s resources would either belong to the people or to the government, and they preferred the former.”

Government Regulation

“Government plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of a successful society. In our country, it was intended that the central government would provide such services as policing, military protection, roads, sanitation, public safety and similar things. In recent years, well-meaning government officials from both parties have determined that citizens need to be more closely managed because they are not capable of acting responsibly or planning for the future. Unfortunately, many of our citizens have grown accustomed to having others regulate their lives and devote little personal responsibility for their own well-being and that of their families. In the meantime, the government continues to grow at a rapid pace in order to meet the needs and expectations of the growing dependent class of citizens. This scenario is well-known to historians, who realize that bureaucracy begets more bureaucracy. It is incredibly rare — if not unheard of — for bureaucratic agencies to conclude that they have grown too big and need to be reduced.”

"Perhaps you've wondered why a neurosurgeon is sharing his ideas about government. You might be surprised to know that 5 physicians signed the Declaration of Independence, and many of them were involved with the creation of the US Constitution. I believe it is a very good idea for physicians, scientists, engineers, and others trained to make decisions based on facts and empirical data to get involved in the political arena and help guide our country. Physicians were once much more involved in their communities and with governance in general. Today we have too many lawyers in government. Consequently, we have far too much regulatory legislation. Also, what do many lawyers learn in law school? They learn it doesn't matter how you fight as long as you win."

Health Care

“We need to return the responsibility for good health care to the patient and the health care provider. One of the best ways to do this is through health savings accounts, which patients can control.”

“Our mission is to lead a national citizens’ effort to hold Washington accountable, re-center the health care debate around doctors and patients, and begin the process of replacing Obamacare with patient-centered reforms that will allow every American access to the best, most affordable care in the world.”

The Second Amendment

In Dr. Carson's own words: https://www.facebook.com/realbencarson/videos/vb.138691142964027/464244887075316/?type=2&theater

"I have spent more time taking bullets out of bodies than most. As a child, I lived in a very bad neighborhood where gun violence was shocking. Both of my older cousins were killed. I saw bodies on the streets with bullet holes. I saw things that children should never see. But please know this, I never saw anything that was so horrid that I wanted to take away anyone's right to own a firearm. The Second Amendment is one of our most precious rights. It must never be infringed. We do need to do a better job of keeping guns from the severely mentally disturbed. I am a gun owner myself. I would never limit my rights and certainly not yours." (Source)

"The baton of freedom is in our hands. We must make absolutely sure that we will never let the right to keep and bear arms be removed from those who follow us in this nation. Let me make it absolutely clear that I am extremely pro-Second Amendment. I will never let anyone tamper with that right.”

“But the real reason that they put it [2nd Amendment] there is recognizing that there could come a time when our government itself could go off the rail, and could try to dominate the people, and the people would need a mechanism of defense for themselves."

“I would never allow the Second Amendment to be jeopardized.”

"I used to think they (guns) needed to be registered, but if you register them they just come and find you and take your guns."

"If we were only concerned about external forces, then we would be okay, but there are some pretty sinister internal forces."

"I truly believe in Second Amendment rights. I would never advocate anything to interfere with Second Amendment rights; however, I do think we have to be intelligent."

"We need to engage in a discussion about, 'Is there something we can do?'" (about keeping guns away from criminals and mentally ill people.)

"We have to keep in mind that law-abiding American citizens absolutely should have gun rights."

“To threaten the Second Amendment rights of ordinary American citizens is itself insanity. Those wishing to ban all assault weapons fail to understand the original intent of the Second Amendment.”

"What we need to be able to do is to sit down and have a discussion about, 'Is there a way to ameliorate that situation and is there a way to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally ill without compromising any provision of the second amendment.'"

International issues

Energy Independence

"Developing our natural energy resources, controlling our national debt, consistently supporting our allies, and aggressively opposing our foes without playing domestic politics will help improve our status in the world and make peace more likely."

“Whether we are experiencing global warming or a coming ice age, which was predicted the 1970s, we as responsible human beings must be concerned about our surroundings and what we will pass on to future generations. However, to use climate change as an excuse not to develop our God-given resources makes little sense. Expanding our wealth of energy resources, as well as encouraging development of new renewable energy sources, can provide an enormous economic lift with obvious benefits. But it can also bolster our role as a formidable player in the struggle for world leadership.”

“By having an Environmental Protection Agency that works with our technological institutions, we can safely exploit the largest reserves of natural energy in the world and stop supporting those nations that desire our destruction.”

Immigration

"The overwhelming majority of Americans want the southern borders of our country secured and our immigration laws enforced, but several administrations recently have been unwilling to get tough on this issue because they do not want to alienate a large voting block of Latinos. This is yet another area where our government's leadership and the wishes of many of the people diverge and the people are being ignored."

"Is it moral for us, for example, to take advantage of cheap labor from illegal immigrants while denying them citizenship? I'm sure you can tell from the way I phrased the question that I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue. Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers--we all know that--yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Is there a way to apply logic to this issue and arrive at an intelligent solution? All we have to do is look to our northern neighbor, Canada. They have a guest worker program, which allows people to enter the country as officially recognized guest workers who pay taxes, receive benefits, and are able to come and go as they please without infringing on anyone else's rights."

"There is much that can be learned from security personnel in prisons and other secured facilities, and there is a great deal of smart technology that could be employed to achieve secure borders. It is a matter of will rather than ability."

"Any discussion of immigration reform should include bipartisan solutions to these inducements. If these issues are not addressed, solutions will fall short. On the other hand, if all of these issues are addressed firmly and consistently, the osmotic effect will be reversed. Just as people found a way to get here, they will find a way to leave on their own and others will be less tempted to attempt illegal entry. Detractors will say that if it were that simple, it would have already been done and that we wouldn’t be having this discussion. What they fail to account for is the fact that the issues have not been addressed."

Foreign Policy

“We need to clarify our goals not only in the Middle East, but around the world. These should not be partisan issues. We cannot afford to change our goals with each administration. We must also not waste this opportunity to learn important lessons. We do not need to draw red lines in the sand that telegraph our intentions. Rather, we need leaders whose foreign policy is guided by America’s best interests, rather than their own political motives.”

"A large void in ethical world leadership has been present for quite a while, and this is a perfect time for the US to step forward and offer effective, morally consistent policies unconstrained by political correctness. If a bully faction or bully nation is beating up on those with whom it disagrees, we should immediately stop them with brutal force, if necessary, because it is the right thing to do. If that were done consistently, such incidents would cease almost immediately. I mention political correctness here because it only hampers effectiveness. For example, a lot of time, effort, and lives were wasted in Fallujah, Iraq, because the terrorists were hiding among the people and using them as shields. Political correctness dictates that we play their game. I would have announced via bullhorn and leaflets that in 72 hours Fallujah was going to become part of the desert because there were substantial numbers of terrorists hiding there. This would have given people time to flee."

"The US is still the pinnacle nation in the world today. It is not, however, the 1st pinnacle nation to face a decline. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France, and Spain all enjoyed their time at the top of the world, so to speak--in many cases, for several hundred years. Then, as they began to decline, they all experienced some peculiar similarities: an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass. One certainly sees this pattern being repeated in American society today, and if we continue to follow the course of other pinnacle nations prior to us in history, we will suffer the same fate. The question is, "Can we learn from the experience of those nations that preceded us and take corrective action, or must we inexorably follow the same self-destructive course?"

"Since the vast majority of each religion's constituents embrace the concept of peace, it is incumbent upon those members to control their radical elements. This means they have to confront the radical elements who advocate violence and often the very principles that constitute their belief system. This must be done both publicly and privately, and they have to use every means available to them to eliminate this cancer among them. If they are afraid or refuse to stand up to the radicals among them, they will share in the guilt for the worldwide holocaust that will ensue. The only way in which religious division will not be highly destructive is if people embrace and live up to the precepts and principles of their respective religions."

"Some will say religious persecution in other parts of the world does not concern us and we cannot be the police for the planet. Certainly, there is some validity to the latter part of that statement, but if we continue to ignore or tolerate religious persecution elsewhere, it is just a matter of time before we will experience it here at home."

"Our foreign policy is rudderless. We are a ship lost at sea. We need to have a foreign policy that is proactive in safeguarding our interests and not reactive to events unfolding around the globe that affect our security. Our friends and allies need to know that we can be counted on when they are in jeopardy or their security is threatened. We must have a foreign policy that is rooted in those ideas that have made us the envy of all freedom-loving people around the globe."

Military and Defense

On the Shrinking Military: "I am alarmed at what this administration is doing to our military. I cannot support what is happening. I very much look forward to working with the Joint Chief’s and giving them the tools they need to meet our needs. Frankly, too many of our military funding decisions are not rooted in what our military leaders want, but what others want for them. That must stop."

"I strongly favor removing the ban on soldiers being armed on military installations immediately. At the same time, I think we need to respect the chain of Command. Remove the ban, and allow the military to decide for themselves. Seems to me like another case of Washington interfering and causing harm. Common sense is the answer here."

“We need to have the strength to stop those bullying with brutal force. At the same time, we cannot afford insinuating ourselves into every conflict around the globe. One only need look to the history of the Roman Empire to learn significant lessons about what happens when military forces are stretched too thin. Our nation should keep this in mind when evaluating trouble spots around the world and considering our level of involvement.”