Monday, February 18, 2013

Dr. Benjamin Carson

I do not have a high opinion of doctors these days, especially neurologists. But I have become a fan of Dr. Benjamin Carson. He’s the director of pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Carson has a very compelling life story growing up in poverty to become a best-selling author and world-class physician. Carson made the following remarks at the White House Prayer Breakfast a few weeks back:

"We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.

"Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're gong [sic] to learn how to be responsible."

This speech went viral and it led to the Wall Street Journal writing an editorial “Ben Carson for President”. But what was so interesting about this speech was Carson did it with Obama sitting a few feet away from him. This is the best part about Carson’s speech; you could see how uncomfortable it made the President feel. Carson has done what no other media outlet has been able to accomplish – challenge the president and his ideological positions. Obama is so comfortable in all his media interviews because he know no one will ask about Benghazi, the Middle East unrest, the unemployment rate, the debt, federal spending, the budget, issues with ObamaCare, implications of taxing the wealthy, and so forth. Carson used his opportunity to question the President’s position on not only ObamaCare and taxes, but our unsustainable debts and deficits.

It is interesting how two impoverished African Americans can grow up to achieve the American Dream and have two completely different solutions to American problems. I will have to take Carson’s side on this one since he has worked in the private sector and healthcare industry. He understands how to run a business and how to create jobs. Obama has meddled in affairs he knows absolutely nothing about – like economics, businesses, and healthcare.

I love the line “Where does it say you’ve got to hurt the guy?” Carson understands that liberals and Obama want to punish success. After just raising taxes on the wealthy, they still want to raise them more. In other words, the punishment for success will never be enough. Bravo to Carson for having the fortitude to do what no one else dares to do – question this President’s controversial positions. Now Obama knows how it feels to be the target of someone’s ire. But I doubt it will stop Obama from using these tactics against adversaries in future speeches.


  1. Ben Carson was impoverished. Barack Obama was not.

  2. Great post, Patrick!

    You gotta love this guy for getting in Obama’s face. It was priceless.

    I didn’t hear the whole speech but I hope that when the good doc suggested lifetime HSAs he meant in conjunction with getting rid of Medicaid and Medicare, and getting government completely out of the health and insurance industry. It won’t do us much good to have an HSA if gov’t keeps driving up the cost of healthcare astronomically by dictating that half the population must be treated for free. We need to get back to a consumer-driven market; otherwise HSAs and every other solution are just bandaides.

  3. I thought he meant to get rid of government involvement in healthcare /insurance. I will have to double check.