Sept. 25, 2015
Family Research Council
10th Annual Values Voter Summit
Remarks by Dr. Ben Carson
Ben Carson, M.D.,
Republican Candidate for President
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Time: 3:14 p.m. EDT
Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Superior Transcriptions LLC
DR. BEN CARSON: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) I love enthusiastic crowds, you know? It makes up for my low energy. (Laughter.) You know, I got to tell you something about America. You know, I’ve visited at least 57 different countries. (Laughter.) And I am always so pleased when I get back here because America has been so good to me. You know, I was born in pretty dire circumstances, grew up very poor, had a bad temper. I was a terrible student — and the things that probably would have precluded success in most other places. But here in America, the opportunities were there.
Even if you didn’t have a silver spoon in your mouth you could go to the library and it didn’t cost you anything to go there, unless you turned your book in late. So — (laughs) — you know, those are the kind of opportunities that I want to preserve for other people. And I really get irritated when people complain about America and they say that we are a terrible place and we are the source of all evil in the world. If we were so bad, why is everybody trying to get in here and nobody’s trying to escape? You know, that’s craziness. (Cheers, applause.)
And there is such a thing as the American way. And you know, we should be proud of it. Have no noticed that there’s no Canadian way. (Laughter.) There’s no French way. There’s no Egyptian way. There’s no other way, except America. Let’s be proud of who we are. You know, we don’t have to — (cheers, applause) — and it’s really one of the reasons that I, for one, am not interested in giving away all of our values and principles so that we can be politically correct. You know, that is a bunch of craziness. (Cheers, applause.)
And you know, some people, when you say things like that, they say you’re bigoted and you’re racist because you don’t want other people to import their way of life, and we should be willing to accept the way that other people do things. Anybody is welcome to come to America as far as I’m concerned, as long as they meet all of our criteria. But they don’t get to change who we are. You know, that is a very important concept. (Cheers, applause.)
And I deeply believe in compassion, in being, you know, kind to other people. And I think, you know, we’re in a very good position in America to be kind to other people. I think about what’s going on in a nation like Cameroon right now, where some major American companies have gone over there and are helping to develop millions of acres of incredibly fertile land and getting record crops. Making a lot of money, I will admit, but also developing the infrastructure of that nation and providing jobs and teaching them the ag business so that they can do that on their own to a much better extent.
And that’s the kind of thing that is a win-win situation. It’s making friends for us. And we’re not borrowing money from China so we can give them billions of dollars in aid. That’s the kind of thing that makes sense. That’s the kind of thing we also should be doing in South and Central America, so that they won’t feel that they need to come here.
And the other thing that we need to be thinking about — (applause) — other thing we need to be thinking about in that regard is sealing our borders because, you know, the fact of the matter is, having gone down there recently and looked at how porous those borders are, anybody could get through there. The fences that they had there would barely slow me down when I was a kid. And there’s no border guards there. The border guards are all 70 miles inland. Why are they called border guards if they’re not on the border? (Cheers.)
And then, you know, when they capture people, ICE tells them to release them. And a lot of those people are not from Honduras and Mexico. They’re form Iraq and Somalia and Russia. And many of them are hardened criminals. And it seems like our federal government is actually fighting against the sheriffs and the people who are down there. And then listening to some of the families, I sat with some of the families and they told me the horror stories about what they had to endure and how frightening it was, and they are some incredibly brave Americans to do that. But we need an administration that will back our people up and not the people who are trying to invade here from someplace else. (Applause, cheers.)
And I’ve already done some interviews today, which you’ll be seeing on television over the next couple days. I just am so tickled with the media. (Laughter.) I mean, these guys, they’re like they just don’t get it, you know?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right!
DR. CARSON: And, you know, the interesting thing is the media is the only business in America protected by the United States Constitution. And there was a reason that they were protected. It was because they were supposed to be on the side of the people. They weren’t supposed to pick and choose which side they were on, because that distorts the entire system. And we should hope and pray that one day they come to understand that if the nation goes off the cliff, they’re going off with it. (Applause, cheers.) And maybe they will wake up and begin to understand what’s going on.
I went back and forth with one commentator: But you said that somebody who was of the Islamic faith and a Muslim could not be president of the United States. Well, you know, I said, will you go back and read the whole transcript? I said, before that I said anybody from any faith, from any belief system who comes to America, becomes an American citizen, embraces our American values and principles and is willing to subjugate their beliefs to our Constitution is somebody I have no problem with. But he then comes back and says, yeah, but what about a Muslim, in the context of maybe somebody who didn’t fit in that category. Anybody who doesn’t fit in that category, I don’t care who they are — they can be a Christian — if they don’t fit in that category, I’m not going to advocate that they be president of the United States. It’s as simple as that. (Applause, cheers.)
And by the way — by the way, not advocating that they be president of the United States in no way precludes them from running. The last I checked, we all had the right to decide who we wanted to advocate for. We don’t have to, in any way, say that you must say this or you must say that. You know, political correctness is ruining our country and we need to stand up for what we actually believe. (Applause, cheers.) It’s ridiculous.
And, you know, the big problem — the big problem with the media is they’re always, you know, going off into these tangents because they don’t want to talk about the real issues. You know, we have some serious problems in this country. You know, our fiscal irresponsibility is ruining the future for those who come behind us. And as a pediatric neurosurgeon who spent my entire career working on the welfare of children, I cannot quietly sit by and watch us ruining their future.
You know, we have a national debt of greater than $18 trillion. What a ridiculous amount of money. I mean, a million is a lot. A billion is a thousand million. And a trillion is thousand billion. And we’re talking over 18 trillion (dollars). To pay that back at a rate of $10 million a day, 365 days a year, it would take you over 5,000 years. And that’s what we’re putting on the backs of our young people. But that’s the good news, because it’s actually — (laughter) — it’s actually much worse than that, because the fiscal gap — now, this is something that no politician will talk about —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s right.
DR. CARSON: — but I’m not a politician so I’m going to talk about it — (applause, cheers) — because, you know, it’s — you know, what it is — and please look this up when you get home or read about it — it’s the amount of unfunded liabilities that we have as a nation — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all the departmental programs. You know, there’s 645 different government agencies and subagencies. I mean, it is absolutely absurd. And all that leads to a tremendous amount of money.
So you look at that amount versus the amount of revenue expected to be brought in through taxes and other revenue sources. Those two numbers should be almost identical if, in fact, you are responsible. However, when you’re not, there’s a gap. And you bring that up to today’s dollars and you’re talking a fiscal gap which is over $200 trillion. It is a staggering amount of money.
You know, I mentioned the fiscal gap on my announcement speech in Detroit and the next day the liberal media came out: See, we told you he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. “Fiscal gap.” He doesn’t know anything about economics. Who even knows what that is? He’s just trying to frighten people. And then the next day Forbes came out with an article that says: Seventeen Nobel Laureates in economics and 1,200 professors of economics agree with Carson. (Laughter, applause, cheers.)
Well, you know, that kind of took some of the wind out of their sails. But the fact of the matter is, you know, you look at that amount of money; the only reason that we can sustain that level of debt is because we can print money, which we are doing in a very irresponsible way. You know, we stopped coupling the dollar to the gold standard back in 1971. It’s our good name, faith and credit since that time — which is not all that good, to be honest with you — and it is a house of cards that is ready to collapse. And what are we doing? Continuing to increase that level of debt.
And, in fact, I would say if your representatives — and I don’t care whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, if they continue to vote to increase our debt and to raise our debt ceiling and raise the amount of money that we’re going to spend at the expense of those coming behind us, you need to find out who they are and you need to throw them out of office. That is absolutely imperative. (Applause, cheers.)
Now, I never like to raise a problem without offering a solution, because there actually is a solution to our incredible fiscal problems. We are in possession of the most powerful and dynamic economic engine the world has ever known. It’s just that it cannot function because we have enshrined it with so many regulations. Nothing can work effectively anymore. And that dampens the enthusiasm for people to take risk and to invest capital. And what people don’t know is that every single federal regulation costs us money in terms of goods and services, costs everybody money because it increases the price of everything.
And who gets hit most by that? The middle class and poor people. That’s one of the things that’s driving the income gap. Bernie Sanders would have you believe that it’s because rich people exist, but let me tell you something: You take every dime from the top 1 percent and you will still have a gigantic problem. That is a myth and it is a political sham, and we need to reject that and teach people what the real issues are that are going on in our country. (Applause.)
And then when you look at our national debt of $18-plus trillion dollars, you know, it forces the Fed to keep suppressing the interest rates, because what happens if they allow the interest rates to rise to normal levels? With that level of debt, the debt service on that would be approaching 800 (billion dollars), $900 billion. You know, that’s ridiculous. We can’t do that.
So what we have to do is — and think about what the result of that is, by the way. For years, traditionally, how did people — average people make money in our society? Joe the Butcher, every Friday, put 5 percent of his paycheck in a savings account and he watched it grow over the next three decades so when he retired he had a nice nest egg. He’s not incentivized to do that anymore. That’s problematic.
And, you know, putting money in the bank — bonds, things like that — which allowed the average person to develop some degree of financial security, those things haven’t existed for almost a decade now. And the only place to make money is in the stock market, but in order to do that you have to have a risk tolerance. Who has risk tolerance? Rich people. So, again, a driver of the gap. And we have to stop allowing the left to deceive people into thinking that it is the wealthy people among us who are causing their problems. That’s not who’s causing their problems. It’s the socialists among us who are causing the problem. (Applause, cheers.) And we can — we can solve that problem quite effectively.
You know, the other thing that they don’t want us to focus on is the weakness of our military. You know, it is at, you know, record lows. And, you know, our Navy, our Air Force — and, you know, the commandant of the Marine Corps, in recent congressional testimony, talked about, you know, our non-deployed units and how a state of unreadiness existed, largely because they’re not getting the kind of support — it’s not because of the men and the women. The men and the women in our military service are tremendous people.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes!
DR. CARSON: I sound like Donald Trump — tremendous people, okay — (applause) — but, you know, the — but look at what we’re doing also by weakening our military and not taking care of our veterans. The recruitment of our veterans is down at 14 percent. This is hurting us. The morale is down. And we’ve got 22 to 23 veterans committing suicide every single day. I mean, and that’s the tip of the iceberg, and it shows that we’re not committing our support to them.
And what we need to be doing, as far as I’m concerned, is the day that they enroll they need to be also enrolled in a support system that will take care of them all the way through their military career. (Applause.) And a year — a year before they’re discharged we should have people working on their integration back into society so there is no gap. (Applause.) And they should have a health savings account which is subsidized by the government which allows them to go to any hospital or any clinic. And we should be happy to take care of them — (applause, cheers) — because if they are willing to lay their lives down and their limbs to take care of us, the least we can do is make sure that we take care of them when they come back. (Applause, cheers.)
When we’re talking — when we’re talking about our values — because this is a Values Voter Summit. What are our values? One nation, unity. Let’s stop letting the purveyors of division divide us up. You know, they — and you know what? They don’t even care if you agree with them as long as you shut your mouths and sit down. (Laughter.) I think it’s time for us to stop shutting our mouths and sitting down. (Applause, cheers.)
Also, one nation under God. We have to stop allowing the progressives to drive God out of our land. (Applause, cheers.) You know, we must be willing — we must be willing to stand up for it, because as they drive Him out, look at the direction that we’re going in. It’s a downward spiral. We need to stop it now.
And, you know, it was Thomas Jefferson who said the American people, they would become less vigilant, they would stop paying attention. And as a result, the government would grow and grow and infiltrate every aspect of our lives and it will begin to control and dominate the people. But he said just before we turned into something else the people would wake up and they would once again take control. I say now is the time to wake up and take control. Thank you. (Applause, cheers.)