During an interview on Fox & Friends on Tuesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson reiterated his earlier claim that “poverty is a state of mind”.
When it comes to poor Americans, the Trump administration has a message: Government aid is holding many of them back. Without it, many more of them would be working.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said as much when presenting the administration’s budget plan this week to cut safety net programs by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. The administration also wants to tighten work requirements for those getting aid, such as food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“If you’re on food stamps, and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be — if you’re not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work,” he said.
On Wednesday night, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson — whose budget to help low-income households would be cut by more than $6 billion next year — added his own thoughts. He said in a radio interview that “poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind.” originally published on NPR
Carson was asked about whether he would back off from his earlier claim that “poverty is a state of mind” and he responded with “not at all.”
“You know, what I said is it’s partly a process of how you think. And I know that from experience. I knew there was a time when I thought I was stupid, I didn’t think that, you know, my destiny was in my own hands. I started reading, I started reading everything. My whole world changed. I have a different view of things now.”
He said at the time:
“If everybody had a mother like mine, nobody would be in poverty.”
He believes parenting and a “strong sense of values” can prevent people from getting in poverty in the first place.
“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody who has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee you in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”
The former neurosurgeon has been outspoken about his own rise from poverty and is known for his encouragement of others to lift themselves up on their own.
Carson had two pieces of advice for people who are currently struggling financially:
“The person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you, nobody else. And the other one is, we’re all in the same boat and if part of the boat sinks we’re all going down too.”