tv HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson Addresses Housing Conference CSPAN April 8, 2017 12:05pm-12:46pm EDT
wrightstown -- this is where alderman writes down, we're going to make you would lyndon johnson's pay initiative. this was something that had always been rumored and bits and pieces have, over the years, but nixon denied it at the time to lyndon johnson, and he denies it to david frost, and he denied it to his biographers. he always said he never played any really in doing that. >> john farrell, longtime journalist and author, mr. nixon's political career from his early days in congress to his tenure and downfall as president. >> the way the watergate burglars, their team was assembled was clumsy. they were burnt out former fbi bynts who were supervised young men on nixon's staff who wanted to be in. it it was the cat that brought the dead mouse to the president
door. >> the los angeles times has been putting on the festival of books for more than 20 years. and it has become an institution a part of the community. celebratea way we can with the readers of the paper and with the city as a whole. it is a very notion of reading. of thereen the idea being something called "fake news" is out there, i think books help us celebrate the way that words and facts are grounded in storytelling, and in history. >> watcher live coverage of los angeles times festival of books all weekend april 22 and 23rd on open quote -- on "book tv" on c-span2.
>> next, housing and urban secretary ben carson talks about housing programs. carson was asked about digital budget cuts to its guests to his department. this is 40 minutes. >> good afternoon. welcome back for afternoon session. i see everyone has gotten their lunch and a settled in, so perfect. we appreciate you being here and we appreciate dr. ben carson being here and it is my pleasure to the opportunity to introduce him and to welcome him to our policy form. i expect he needs no introduction, but i will give him a brief one. dr. ben carson is the 17 secretary of the u.s. department of housing and urban development. nearly 30 years, secretary carson served as director of pediatric neurosurgery at the johns hopkins children's center and at 33, he was the youngest
person to ever serve in that position. he has received dozens of honors and awards in recognition of his achievements. including the presidential medal 's highdom, the nation civilian honor. and he is also a recipient of the medal that is the highest honor bestowed by the national association for the advancement of colored people or naacp. he is a prolific writer. he has written nine books. and he and his wife cofounded the carson scholars fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for their exceptional academic and you miniature and accomplishments. the fund is currently operating d.c. -- and in d.c., and is recognized scholars and awarded scholarships and it has installed more than 150 ben carson reading rooms around the country.
so, we are really pleased that dr. carson here to talk with us a bit about his vision for affordable housing programs in this country. so please join me in welcoming dr. carson. [applause] dr. carson: thank you very much. i am absolutely delighted to be here with you. who i to thank diane, have known about. and thank all of you who have been supportive. i know sometimes when you support a republican, it can cost you. to way i look at it, i got be something, but i don't really worry too much about labels because it is so important, the mission that we have to deal with here. udell, -- you know, as a physician, you know, i operated on 50,000 patients, and when i
was campaigning, one of the real joys was seeing so many of my patients every place i went. and it is really all about helping people. we -- and when you can see the long-term effects -- like i was in kentucky, and a family came up to me, and there was a young man with them, and he says, do you recognize this chemin? and i said, he looks familiar. because i said that about everybody. [laughter] dr. carson: they said, you will operated on him when he was one-year-old, and you did an operation to take out half of his brain. and he just finish college, number one in his class. i said, wow! [applause] dr. carson: and i said that was wonderful. i remember as a physician, also there were so many patients who were homeless. for who were living in their car.
in awfulved circumstances. did not know where their next meal was coming from. some of the kids, i remember, they do not want to ever leave the hospital because it was a comfortable place. a nice, comfortable bed. he got three meals a day. backo think about going was a trauma to them. so, i frequently did things to extend their hospital stay. but the fact of the matter is, you know, it is more than a hospital stay. it is about a lifestyle. no thatity to live and there is security there. i remember my parents got divorced. and my mother only had a third grade education and we did not place to live, and you know, fortunately, some of her relatives in boston took us in. and it was a horrible place. i heard somebody say, boston, you might know where stanwood street is.
[laughter] i don't know what it looks like now, but it was pretty horrible then. and then we moved from there to glenn way, and kept moving around. and it was awful. but it was a roof over our head. and my aunt and my uncle, even though we were very war, they -- we were very poor, they were very loving people and you know, they always made us feel welcome where we were. and, my mother worked so hard. two or three jobs at a time. her goal was to get back to our house. it was just a 750 foot square foot g.i. home. but it was our 750 foot square foot g.i. home. and it was paradise. i remember six years after we left, finally being able to get back there. it was one of the happiest days of my life. but it helps me to understand the importance of just having a
place where you feel secure. know thatere you there are people who love you. and it is something that we really need to start digging about more in our country. asre are three to four times many people in this country in need of low income housing, or affordable housing, that we can provide. it is a matter of supply and demand. and the demand is much greater than the supply, so what is happening? the prices keep going up. and there are millions of people 35%, 40%, or even 50% or more than they earn per housing. an untenable situation. and that is a situation where government could be helpful,
particularly in partnership with the private sector and the faith community. and i will say a bit more about that in a moment, but i know a lot of people are very, very concerned about the new budget numbers that have been put out. [crowd murmuring] dr. carson: and i think that it the end of and it is the world. but it is actually not because the part people are not hearing, even though i said it several times, is that this administration considers housing a significant part of infrastructure and our country. and as such, the infrastructure bill that is being worked on has a significant inclusion of housing and it. section 8, 11,
202 -- no one will be thrown out on the street. what would that accomplish? that does not make any sense. and that certainly will not happen when i am around. [applause] dr. carson: we do have a responsibility to each other. and we also have a responsibility to those who, after us. to our children, to our grandchildren. and right now, we have a national debt of $20 trillion. now, you have heard that number, and you can say that number, but does anybody really comprehend what that means? that means $60,000 for every man, woman, and child. thousands of babies born today, each with a price tag of $60,000 in debt on their heads. and people -- and some people
say, it is just a number. it does not mean anything. tell that to the people of 17th-century spain, or 18th-century france, or 19th century great britain, or agent egypt or agent rome. they all did the same thing. debtate debt -- estimated and became fiscally irresponsible and went down the tubes. easily, but we are taking about now is, how do we spend efficiently and effectively? that is one of the reasons i am on this listening tour. i discovered on friday from texas. i was in detroit before that. places in multiple other looking at the things that actually work that are effective in getting people out of poverty, and setting them on the trajectory for success. the things that actually work
for the elderly, and for the disabled people in our country that encourage the public-private partnerships to occur. when we take a public sector, the private sector, and the faith-based community along with nonprofit, and we align them in terms of their goals, believe me, i have seen some magnificent things happen. 8-1 leveraging of federal dollars in many cases. which then makes it possible to , you, or to refurbish know, the housing because as i said before, it is a part of our infrastructure. there are a lot of our housing projects that can be fixed. that can be renovated. that can be made into beautiful places.
i have seen them on this tour. but it requires the right attitude and the right partnerships in order to get that done. know, one of the things that has -- one of the things that is hampering innovation around this country are excessive regulations. you know, there is no mayor, or governor, or housing commissioner anywhere in the country either party that i have talked to who was not said the same thing. they said the amount of red tape and the hoops we have to jump through is so ridiculous, it almost makes it not worth having a grant. and that is defeating the purpose. that is what bureaucracy is. bureaucracy is when you care more about the rules and you care about the goals. and that is killing us as a nation. so, we are working very hard to
get the inappropriate things out of the way, and the way i kind of look at it, if you have the right goals, and the right goals, for measuring the you do not have to have 12 people looking over everybody's shoulder and telling them what to do. that is not who we are as a nation. and we did not reach the -- we reached the pinnacle because we had at entrepreneurial spirit and the innovative spirit, and the only way that works is if there is a goal that we have, that we have established together, and there are metrics we have established together. and then we say, though out and do it. just get it done. as long as you get it done, use the bring god gave you and get it done, and a compass the goal of creating the housing, and the
environment that we need. and recognize that it is more about just about putting a roof over people's heads. it is about developing the human capital. it is about developing our people. we only have 330 million people in this country. china has four times as many people. times that many people. how are we going to compete with them in the future unless we begin to develop all of our people? to havecannot continue situation where 20% of people who enter high school don't finish. we cannot have a situation where we have 5% of the world's population and play 5% of the prison inmates. that does not make any sense. these are all people created by whowith enormous potential can be part of the engine, rather than part of the load. so, anything that we do, it needs to be focused on how do we
develop the people? it is about more than just rehabbing a housing complex. it is about creating a community. it is about working across silos so that we can educate people. so we can have appropriate health care for people. you know, one of the things that i have been noticing in successful communities that have been reinvigorated is the emphasis on health care. it is a very, very important thing to think about. if you have a clinic in the neighborhood, then people tend to use that clinic rather than the emergency room for their private care. their primary care. now, a costs five times as much to go to the emergency room as it does to go to the clinic. room,so, in the emergency if you got a diabetic foot ulcer, you know the patch you up
and send you out. upthe clinic, they patch you , and then say let's get your diabetes under control is a you are not back here three weeks with another major problem. when we start thinking that way , we begin to really see some savings. as muchciency as well better health care. at one of the clinics where i was on friday, i was talking to the health care providers there about children who come in with asthma. it's april real big problem. a lot of it is induced by mold. so, what they try to do is when they see that, they go out and inspect the home. and then, there is a private foundation, which helps with the mold remediation in that home. that is the way you do it. because the cost, long-term, of
in the tensma, runs of billions of dollars. and the same thing with lead remediation. we all know some of the problems caused by lead, but do we think about the long-term costs? you know, when a child is affected by lead early on, it doesn't go away. it's a permanent problem. it can affect their behavior. it can lead to a very difficult life for them. to society can be great. you know, we know there is at least 310,000 children affected by lead in our country right now. those are just the ones we know about, and there are others. these are enormous costs unless our policies recognize these
things, then we will continue to be shoveling, you know, water out of the ocean with a teaspoon. it's just not going to help us. it will make us feel good, oh we we alsomp of water, but have to policies that actually solve our problems. now, one of the things that has been restored nearly effective -- one of the things that has been extraordinarily effective is the low income housing tax credit -- [applause] dr. carson: what those do is encourage the public-private partnerships. that's what works because they help to establish win-win situations. we shouldn't be looking for handouts. but what we should be looking for is everybody involved in the situation benefits. and when we formulate those kind of things in the right way, i think we are going to see a
proliferation of those. we are already starting to see them in some of the cities. we are going to be working again elevateies that help to those kinds of partnerships, and also the partnerships with the faith community. you know, i have been incredibly impressed by how many people have good hearts in our country. -- i at a housing facility was at a housing opportunity for people with aids, and you know, they were saying, when we first came here, nobody wanted us. and they had signs, they were protesting, you know, they don't want these people in our neighborhoods. and now come every night, people come and bring dinner. you know, for all of the inhabitants. and they bring furniture. i mean, the place looks like a
five-star hotel. it is really nice. but it is because people, like you and me, have reached out with compassion to their neighbors. isn't that who we are? think about it. in the early days of this nation, when it was harvest time, if a farmer was out picking apples, had climbed a tree and fell out of the tree and broke his leg, what did everybody do? the picked his crops for him. they took care of his family. that is who we are as americans. when there is a disaster, who is always first in line with money and aid? we are. we are. because of the godly principles of loving your fellow man. and that is something we need to cultivate. we need to stop listening to all of the people who try to make us
believe that we hate each other, and that we are enemies, when we can extend that energy actually solving our problems. and i think that is where we need to go as a nation, and that is going to be up to "we the people." you see, i have given up on "they the politicians." it is "we the people" who have to do it. [applause] dr. carson: and we have to use that intellect, and we have to use our collective strength because when we do not have somebody, you know, irritating as, we can do pretty well. of like, it is sort remember when you were in the third grade, and everybody would be out on the playground having a good time? having just so much fun together, and then here comes the troublemaker who says "did you hear what he said about your mama?" and all of a sudden, we have turmoil going. we don't need that. we have so many things we need to do.
it involves working across the silos, creating real communities. one of the things i have been working on something called "housing savings accounts." allocation isly made to supplement, a small portion of it goes into an account for each unit. and it is that money that is used to take care of that unit. if there are always holes hoped in the screens -- there are always holes poked into the screens, it is coming out of that. guess what happens? people start caring -- people start taking care of their stuff. if there is nothing to take care of, it keeps accumulating and if in five to 10 years,
you get that money. it can be a very substantial amount of money for a down payment on your own house. see, we need to start thinking this way because we want to encourage people. we want to provide a ladder of opportunity for people to move upward and outward. for me, success at head -- at hud is not how many people we can have in public housing, it is how may people we can get out of it and how many people we can have become a strong and vibrant part of our society. we can do that. we have the ability to do that. we have things like section three, which is been around for a long time, but virtually, no one pays attention to section three, which says that -- [applause] dr. carson: you know, you need to employ the people, the low income people in the projects, and the housing and infrastructure, and infrastructure, anything going on in that community. no one does it. and the reason they do not do it is because they say, well, you
know, no one has the skills, so we have to go to the outside to do that. in there is some validity that argument, but i do not consider that and there is some validity in that argument but i do not consider that reasonable. because we are smart. he has to have a planning stage. there is a lot of groundwork that has to be done before you build something. so, why wouldn't it be possible if you know this is going to be done in this place to go in there a year ahead of time and goal and train the people to be able to do that process? and when it comes up, they have jobs. skills,y have jobs and that skill does not go away when the project finance. they have a lifetime skill which allows of them to go into
anything. isn't that what america is about? those dreams and opportunities? what we have to understand is everybody is either going to become part of the engine or part of the load. we, as a nation, can go a lot further and a lot faster is a logic or people are part of the engine. we need to be thinking of ways we can do that. if we are willing to left by godly principles, of loving your fellow man, caring about your neighbors, developing your god-given talents to you become valuable to the people around you, having values and principles that govern our lives , not allowing ourselves to get in a timber all the time.
i want to leave you with this. the brookings institute did a study on poverty. a big study. they concluded that there were three things that a person could do that would reduce the likelihood of them living in poverty to 2% or less. that should perk all of her ears up. number one, finish high school. number two, get married. number three, wait until you are married to have children. you do thosehings, three things, you have a 2% or less chance of living in poverty. might be a smart thing if we started teaching that to our children ahead of time? those veryalk about values and principles that help
to get as were we are as stop being afraid of everything. everybody is so afraid to say anything because somebody might call them a name. let them call you names print they used to call -- they used to say sticks and stones will break your bones. we do not need to worry about names. we need to worry about compassion. we need to worry about godly principles that made us into a great nation. we need to worry about our fellow man standing right next to us and if or willing to do those things, i guarantee you, we will have one nation, under with libertyble and justice for all. thank you so much. [applause]
>> thank you, dr. carson. we have been collecting questions from everybody here, participants will we have a act. if there are more, we will have staff that will gather them up and bring them up. as a couple over here and with these i have gone through the ones i have already for a few representative questions i think. answerm not sure you can that a lot of interest in your senior team and when we will hear more. people are curious about who else will be in the building making decisions. there are a lot of people in the either receiving hud assistance or living at a public housing and have section eight vouchers and the budget cuts are very real and immediate
to them. there is concern about people losing their homes. you talk a little bit earlier about giving assurances that nobody will lose their home. i am sure that as a comfort. i am sure people would like to hear more and given the cuts proposed, how you can assure that people will be up to continue receiving the assistance they need to afford them? dr. carson: one of the things i learned when i was , whong up, from my mother only had a third grade education, is that there are efficient ways to utilize funds and there are in efficient ways to utilize funds. everybody used to wonder, how is this woman with no education will who works as a domestic able to afford a new car? they said, she must be selling
her body or something. i will tell you what. person the most thrifty you can imagine. everything, nothing was ever wasted. nowwhat we are doing right and part of the reason i am and why istening tour am studying the various things around the nation so vigorously do we getre out where the bang for our buck. i have been assured by the thatdent and everyone else if we come up with an efficient way of managing things, and there will not be, anybody who will lack. it is only the inefficient, wasteful things. i am absolutely determined to make sure that we do this in an
effective and efficient manner. secondly, and listen very carefully, as i am traveling around, i am seeing some of the most beautiful places for low income people. that have been constructed. throughbeing maintained public/private partnerships of the right type. that is the key. has to be the right to type with the right incentives. the amount of money that exists in this country is enormous, much more than the amount of money than the government has. by creating the right circumstances where we can pull the money in to take care of all of our citizens, i think we will be much, much better off than having a program where we are constantly asking a
cash-strapped government to do everything. it is much better if we have a government that understands its role in helping to facilitate and create their circumstances that allow all of our people to flourish. >> thank you. another question, we have gotten a lot around engaging the residents and your willingness to engage the organization, the tenant organizers and residents who rely on these programs as you make your decisions about ways to improve programs. carson: the reason it is important is because traditionally, people in washington have sort of felt they had all the answers. and they would, you know, send a message from above. the way our country was designed
, it is supposed to be formed by the people. for theashington, work people. as people don't work for us. somehow, somehow, that has been forgotten. and that is the reason that i .ngage with the people i want to hear from the people. i am hearing some excellent suggestions and terrific things. quirks thank -- >> thank you. one last question. well a number of young people have apating -- we number of young people participating and getting involved for the first time. there is a 17 year old and how they can encourage other youth to get involved? dr. carson: my whole medical career was surrounding the young people. and recognizing that in our country, it is going to be the
young people who are going to decide who we are and what we have become. that myf the reasons wife and i put reading rooms all over the country, primarily in title i schools were kids come from homes with no books and go to a school with a no library or a poorly funded library. they are not likely to become readers. statistics show that dropouts are functionally illiterate. if you can truncate the problem way downstream, you will not have a problem upstream. that is what we need to think about. a pediatriccame numeral surgeon is you can spend 10, 12, 15, 18 hours operating on a kid. successful, the return may be 50, 60, 80 years of life.
with an old geezer, you operate and they die in five years. i like to get a big return on my investments. a big return. i am kidding. i like old people. [laughter] you see the point. so much potential in our young people. on what is to focus going to work for them. we have had our time or we are having our time. been a part ofs america for us to think about the welfare of those who are coming behind us. and to act in a way that is responsible in order to improve their quality of life, but housing, i can't talk for a long time about this. it is such an integral part of the well-being, mentally and
young people.t i was talking to one of our scholars in baltimore. how hardalking about she studies and works and it she would always come home and sit in the living room in order to complete her homework until a bullet came through the window. now, she studies in the back of the house. can you imagine how disruptive, how anxiety producing it is to a home fromon walking school, trying to study in their living room and having things like that going on? when i talk about developing communities i am not talking about putting a roof over people's heads. i am talking about having clinics. i am talking about having vision centers, places where kids can
learn about different careers per they do not even know anything about the multitude of possibilities of that exist for them. i am talking about places where people can get vocational training. when i was in high school, i learned to make electric motors. i could use all of the equipment. they do not teach that stuff in high school anymore. kids do not know that stuff. we need centers so they can learn things and the various jobs and the responsibilities and they can get training for doing that. we need to transportation so people can get two different places. we need to bring in affordable food markets. work with the police and community because we need to be thinking about those individuals who are incarcerated. and why are the incarcerated?
here is what i want to this about. --n a baby is worn, art faq? when a baby is born, aren't they cute? -goo-ga-ga. 20 years later, you ask what happened to that cute baby? it is our relationship that -- it is our responsibility to make sure that the right things happen. when they do go to prison, they go with a little education and little skills and they come out with a little education and little skills. what are they going to do? they are want to go back to what they were doing. that is why we have the high recidivism rates are are they part of the human capital? yes. should we be developing them and providing an opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives to become part of the engine?
of course, we should. when we think about that that in all of the different ways and stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated and divided, divide and conquer. forget about it. a houseesus who set divided against itself cannot stand. less think how we can work together to get this done. thank you very much. >> thank you, dr. carson. [applause] youne more thing, before go, not a question but we are pleased that you are doing the listening tour that you are, and engaging so many people throw the country. we wanted to offer you a list of suggested stops from our state partners, the resident organizations here in this room, that would welcome a chance to welcome you to their communities. dr. carson: you are keeping me busy so i can to get in trouble. thank you. >>