When George Washington became President, he was a very wealthy man. He had been a successful land surveyor who used his profits to buy land in Virginia. He was a successful farmer, and eventually grew his Mount Vernon farm from 2,000 acres to 8,000 acres. Because America was a very different place then, he was allowed to enjoy the profits of his farm by putting other people in charge of it during his time in the White House. Class warfare had not yet reared its ugly head, and Americans were working together to build their country. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost that spirit.
On Thursday, Townhall.com posted an article about the Senate Confirmation Hearings for Ben Carson as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spent a large part of her questioning wanting to make sure that no company connected with Donald Trump would be involved in any HUD projects during the time that Donald Trump was President. I agree that no company connected with Donald Trump should be given preferential treatment, but should they be discriminated against if they are the lowest bidder on a project?
The article reports:
Warren repeatedly pressed Carson over whether he could assure the American people that not a single taxpayer dollar would go towards contracts with any real estate companies linked to the president-elect.
“Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar you give out will financially benefit the president-elect or his family?” Warren asked Carson.
The retired neurosurgeon promised he would not “play favorites.”
“I can assure you that the things that I do are driven by a sense of morals and values,” he said.
“It’s not about your good faith,” she replied. “My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars you will be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you just assure us that not $1 will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?”
The article concludes:
“The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money — not of $10 varieties but of multimillion-dollar varieties — will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets,” Warren responded.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the lead Democrat on the banking panel, echoed concerns raised by Warren.
Trump has an interest in at least one low-income hosing development — Starrett City — which Brown said posed an inherent conflict for the new leader of HUD.
Starrett City is a massive development in Brooklyn that sends Trump millions in revenue through rent. In his financial disclosures filed as president, Trump lists his 4 percent share in the asset as being worth between $5 million and $25 million.
Brown pressed Carson to stay in contact with the committee if he — or anyone at HUD — has communications with anyone in the Trump Organization or the White House about development projects.
Carson said he would be happy to set up a process that identifies conflicts.
This is an example of why Ben Carson, as smart and honest as he is, should never be President. He was just too nice to this awful lady. I am not supporting corruption, but if Trump Enterprises can do a job better and cheaper than another company, Trump Enterprises should get the job. All you need is a blind bidding process. This is much ado about nothing.
One thing we all need to remember about having Donald Trump in the White House is that he is very rich. He doesn’t need to cheat to get rich. He doesn’t need to take donations to a foundation from foreign countries that want favors. He doesn’t need to take million dollar vacations on the taxpayers’ money. He doesn’t need to take items out of the White House when he leaves (if you doubt that the Clintons did that, read the GAO report (link and article here). There are also enough Trump resorts around the world to accommodate his vacations.
Senator Warren wasted her time during the confirmation hearings. She should have asked Dr. Carson how he plans to help poor families escape poverty. He is certainly an example of the fact that it can be done. If the government were more concerned about helping people escape poverty rather than simply adding to the bloated bureaucracy that only continues if they remain in poverty, the federal deficit would be considerably lower. It will be refreshing to see a HUD Secretary who wants to decrease the number of people dependent on government rather than grow the government infrastructure that benefits the government more than the poor.