No excuses, only solutions
Feb. 7, Ben Carson ruffled feathers by using his post as keynote speaker at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast to directly criticize President Barack Obama’s policies.
“His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion,” said Cal Thomas, foxnews.com contributor, in a column.
“It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president’s policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom. I’m wondering if the president felt drawn closer to God, or bludgeoned by the Republican Party and the applauding conservatives in the audience.”
Carson broke with the organization’s tradition of avoiding political topics by his denouncing of Obama’s tenets on healthcare, taxation, entitlements and spending. In a society where everyone is worried about political correctness, Carson was bold, courageous and real. His no-nonsense approach to America’s problems was refreshingly straightforward.
Carson’s story is inspiring. He grew up in Detroit with his single mother, Sonya, and older brother, Curtis.
Carson became a neurosurgeon and the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2008, Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
His recent keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast put Carson in the national spotlight, earning him praise and criticism from the conservative side.
Fox News contributor Juan Williams said he didn’t see anything wrong with what Carson said and sees him more as a personal hero.
“He is a winner to me for living by the conservative principles I want young America, especially poor black and Latino kids, to see as the prescription for success,” Williams said.
“And when it comes to public policy Dr. Carson again deserves credit for making specific suggestions.”
The irony here is that Williams is a Democrat and that two of Carson’s most notable quotes have to do with the negative direction in which society is headed and the staggering deficit. Carson compares America’s decline to the decline of the Roman civilization.
“Nobody could even challenge them militarily, but what happened to them? They destroyed themselves from within. Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility,” Carson said.
“They destroyed themselves. If you don’t think that can happen to America, you get out your books and you start reading.”
He also explains the massive debt the U.S. has incurred.
“Our deficit is a big problem,” Carson said.
“Think about it. Our national debt — $16.5 trillion — you think that’s not a lot of money? I’ll tell you what, count one number per second. … You know how long it would take you to count to 16 trillion? Five hundred and seven thousand years — more than a half a million years to get there. We have to deal with this.”
On the topic of healthcare, Carson suggested a health savings account that people pay in to so that people can control their own healthcare.
“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 — pre-tax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. … 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,” Carson said. “Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they’re going to learn how to be responsible.”
It is an intelligent solution to healthcare while avoiding increasing the powers of the already overgrown government.
To improve the taxation system, we need to simplify the system by requiring the same percentage of income to be paid in taxes across all income levels. When everyone is required to give, again, it promotes personal responsibility and increases peoples’ interest in how the government money is being spent. It is our generation who will be left with a massive debt to repay. We are all interested parties. Carson agrees.
“What about our taxation system? It’s so complex there is no one who can possibly comply with every jot and title of our tax system,” Carson said. “What we need to do is come up with something that is simple. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10, you put in $1 – of course, you gotta get rid of the loopholes, but now some people say, ‘That’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made $10,’” Carson said.
“Where does it say you have to hurt the guy? He’s just put in a billion in the pot! We don’t need to hurt him.”
Lastly, Carson rightly had some insights into America’s growing problem: an uneducated and ill-informed populace.
“We went to these schools and we’d see all these trophies: State Basketball, State Wrestling. The quarterback was the big man on campus,” Carson said. “What about the intellectual superstar? What did they get? A National Honor Society pin? A pat on the head, ‘There, there little nerd?’ Nobody cared about them. And is it any wonder that sometimes the smart kids try to hide?”
Carson’s no-excuses-only-solutions philosophy is one we should all adopt, particularly our president. It is refreshing and long overdue to have someone, especially someone who has overcome an impoverished background, speak out about America’s problems and how our current entitlement system, among others, is not working. He not only identifies our problems, but puts forth viable solutions.
Sarah Backer is a business sophomore and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.