Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson outlined his plan to overhaul a federal department which is often described as a “garden of corruption” and explained why he took the job on an interview with Hugh Hewitt.
Carson working to turn HUD honest:
HH: Now traditionally, I go back to the Reagan years when I started in government. HUD has always been a garden of corruption. Bad stories come out of HUD over the course of four to eight years. It seems like inevitably, a scandal erupts. How are you putting up guardrails to prevent that from happening in the Carson tenure at HUD?
BC: Well, we’re already putting in place a structure so that we can monitor where every penny goes.
BC: You know, when I started doing that, these people looked at me like I had six heads.
BC: But I think they’re starting to understand, you know, what we’re doing now. That will make a huge difference. People, my goal is to change that perception completely, to be the most honest department in the government.
Why Carson accepted a position in government:
HH: I’ve been waiting to ask you this. I know you didn’t really want to go into the government, but you accepted the call. How much did your faith play in the decision to accept this job?
BC: Well, it’s true that I had other significant plans. But you know, a number of people in the administration, including the President and the Vice President convinced me that you know, it really does require a certain sensitivity and understanding in order to accomplish what needs to be done not only in our inner cities, but in communities throughout our nation. And as I’ve thought about my life and things that I’ve been prepared for, and you know, I used to wonder why am I getting all this business experience, you know, 18 years on the Kellogg board, 16 years on Costco’s board, starting a national non-profit, doing a multitude of other things, and I said now I can see where that would fit when you take a department that is heavy in bureaucracy and try to run it like a business. And we’re going to make some very good progress there. Almost every mayor, every governor, every housing director I’ve talked with across the country say we like your programs, we like your grants, but it’s almost not worthwhile, because we have so much red tape.
You can hear the full conversation below: