Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson called poverty a “state of mind” that children learn from their parents at a young age during a town hall interview recorded Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.
“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” he told his friend and fellow conservative, Armstrong Williams.
“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”
He continued, “And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back to the bottom.”
Carson claimed that “the wrong mindset” is the product of negative parenting habits.
“There’s also a poverty of spirit,” he said. “You develop a certain mindset.”
Carson, who oversees the department that provides affordable housing, rental assistance to low-income families and homeless assistance, has criticized government assistance programs in the past, claiming they are “sustaining [people] in a position of poverty.”
“I have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them. I have a strong desire to get rid of programs that create dependency in able-bodied people,” he said in the 2015 speech announcing his candidacy. “And we’re not doing people a favor when we pat them on the head and say, ‘There, there, you poor little thing, we’re going to take care of all your needs. You don’t have to worry about anything.’ You know who else says stuff like that? Socialists.”
The Post notes:
The Trump administration’s 2018 budget blueprint, unveiled Tuesday, would cut more than $6 billion from HUD’s budget. The cuts would end popular grants that facilitate first-time home ownership and revitalize economically distressed communities, including the Community Development Block Grant. The budget would also cut billions of dollars in funding for public housing support, gutting dollars used to fund big-ticket repairs at public housing developments around the country.