Ben Carson: Help Americans First

Ben Carson, who is clearly running for president, has already mastered the art of being politically trite and hypocritical at the same time. In response to President Obama’s orders on immigration, he takes the path of simpleminded tribalism and says we should help Americans before helping foreigners.

Like millions of other Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.

It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you.” There are many around us already in need of help.

According to President Obama, only those 5 million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Once illegals have legal status, it will be difficult to deny them any of the multitudinous entitlements that are freely distributed throughout our society. Also, we must remember that illegals who have been here for less than five years only have to claim that they have been here longer than that in order to collect goodies. In effect, instead of helping 5 million people, we probably will be aiding at least twice that many.

And there you have it, self-contradiction in a mere four paragraphs. There are poor people in America who need our help and we should help them before helping non-Americans, he declares. But what happens when you try to help poor Americans? Carson and his ideological brethren scream, “Socialism! Tyranny! Obamaphones!” He doesn’t actually want to help poor people at all, this is just a convenient way to pretend to have a principled stand against helping immigrants.

And he’s wrong about virtually every bit of this. He says that those granted deportation deferrals will “obviously” be eligible for federal benefits, but he provides no evidence of this. If they aren’t eligible, they won’t get them. And guess what? They aren’t eligible. And no, it won’t be more than five million, it will be considerably less than that. The five million figure is an estimate of how many people might take advantage of the program, but when Reagan did exactly the same thing in 1986, about 40% of those who were eligible took advantage of it.

And it should also be noted that this program isn’t just about helping immigrants, it’s good for the country too. It’s better in every way to have those who live in the legal shadows come into the light. They then have to pay taxes, their wages increase, more money circulates in the economy and GDP goes up. Immigrants contribute a great deal to the economy, but having them do so legally while paying taxes benefits everyone.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • bahrfeldt

    Because the Republican base obviously considers him a full blooded member of their tribe. One of Us! One of Us! One of Us! Yay!

    As an aside, I have a Wal Mart video ad in Korean, both text and audio, at the top of your page. I’ll ignore it like 99.99% of the other ads.

  • busterggi

    Its always a thrill to see the Republican’s new pet black person. They never last long though, pity.

  • John Pieret

    Its always a thrill to see the Republican’s new pet black person. They never last long though, pity.

    They are nice ornaments but when they get uppity actually seek power or position, the bloom is off the rose.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Interesting the various contexts where “Dear Muslima” crops up. Again we have someone who wants a topic to go away and tries to make it happen by saying “look, there are more important problems!” As if we couldn’t deal with multiple problems at one time.

    Or course, Carson’s approved “solutions” for the problems of Americans would almost certainly make it worse for the 99%. You know, the usual stuff: Tax breaks for the rich, loss of social services for the non-rich, further erosion of the infrastructure through neglect. All the things that will make him a (momentarily) viable candidate.

  • dan4

    @2 (and @3 as well, I guess,since he approvingly quoted those words): “New pet black person?” I bet if some conservative used those same words to describe Barack Obama in relation to Democrats, you wouldn’t feel they were racist or condescending or anything (*rolls eyes*).

    @3: Characterizing a human being as an “ornament?” Sick, just sick.

  • alanb

    It’s better in every way to have those who live in the legal shadows come into the light. They then have to pay taxes, their wages increase, more money circulates in the economy and GDP goes up.

    No, if their wages increase they’ll just start working two jobs instead of three or four and we’ll lose all the gardeners and farm workers that work for sub-minimum wage. What do you have against rich people and corporations?

  • Artor

    Dan4, you haven’t been paying attention to how Republicans, as a group, actually view and treat black people. Your willful ignorance is showing.

  • colnago80

    Re dan4 @ #5

    3: Characterizing a human being as an “ornament?” Sick, just sick

    I agree. He should more accuratelhy be characterized as an self-hating AfroAmerican uncle Tom.

  • cswella

    Funny, I thought many of the problems that lower class americans had were direct results of republican policy. So claiming that we need to help the people at home before helping foreigners is just their way of saying, “We don’t want to help foreigners”.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He’s right. We have to help Americans first, by treating them like illegals (getting rid of the minimum wage, rolling back the social safety net until it’s not there anymore, and also not letting them vote). That’s equality, right? I thought you Liberals were all for equality?

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    But the $400 billion, budget-busting tax breaks for rich people that the House has proposed — which will not be offset by other spending,* but when earlier a proposal to extend unemployment benefits absolutely demanded cuts elsewhere. Because deficits! — will do wonders for the people of Appalachia, rural Mississippi, and those who live in our inner cities. That torrent of tax cuts will fall in a deluge (to the 0.1 percent), overfilling the troughs of the already gluttonously rich and flowing over into the poors’. It’s like the Reptilicans are Lucy van Pelt, promising that they won’t pull the football out again this time and that those tax cuts really, really, if you truly believe, make everything right. In Ronnie’s name we pray.

    Just feeding those poor people at subsistence level** is a waste of perfectly good money that could be used for important things like jet fighters that don’t work. Their benefits should be cut to incentivize them to go out and find those jobs out there that don’t exist for low- or no-skilled people and often for people with advanced degrees.

    * Because, just as they always have, tax cuts have stimulated the economy and actually bring in more revenues. And if this one doesn’t, there’s always making more cuts to food stamps, school nutrition, tinkering with Social Security and Medicare.

    ** Those people have refrigerators! Refrigerators! What a wasteful luxury for people who, in the absence of a place to store cooking ingredients, would have to buy every meal outside their homes.

    Some of them in the South even have little window air conditioners that almost make August in Southern Alabama almost bearable. My taxes are supporting these people to live like the Rockefellers.

  • raven

    Supply side economics AKA tax cuts, is magical thinking. Magic doesn’t work.

    So why do they do it?

    They know it doesn’t work. They don’t care though. As Krugman pointed out, it is just an excuse to make the very rich even richer.

  • D. C. Sessions

    They know it doesn’t work. They don’t care though.

    Of course they care. If it worked, there wouldn’t be a reason to keep doing more of it.

  • comfychair

    The negatives of ‘supply-side economics’ are a feature, not a bug. It’s working just as it was intended.

  • dragon

    fifthdentist @11:

    You say that like it doesn’t provide the intended result. Supply side economics have accomplished a great deal. The more money the very rich have, the more money they funnel into political action committees. The more money in PACs, the more those can pay the inflated salaries of the chairman (i.e. congressman) of the PAC. The more money they make, the richer those congressmen become. And they don’t want to be taxed at the same effective rate as the riff-raff. Why, if things were changed, congressmen wouldn’t be the very best investment the uber rich could buy. And every congressmen (except idiots like Bernie Sanders who just don’t “get it”), can enrich themselves on their “not a bribe unless it is quid pro quo” contributions and “insider trading, but not _illegal_ insider trading” until they too join the uber rich. And then they know through personal experience just how to buy their own congressmen. As well as the fun of controlling other people’s lives.

    If you personally don’t understand how that is good for America, well then you just aren’t seeing the capability of every red-blooded upper middle class Christian white American has to run for elected office and reaps the benefits. You short sighted fool.

    /snark

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @raven

    They know it doesn’t work. They don’t care though. As Krugman pointed out, it is just an excuse to make the very rich even richer.

    You contradict yourself. They know it works. It produces exactly the result that they want — the transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest. The people who don’t know that it doesn’t work the way it’s claimed to work are the victims of it. That’s one of the reasons that they keep electing people whose main purpose in life is to screw them over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.cain chuck c

    It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

    Yeah, that would be the ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ part.

  • Doc Bill

    I would like to know where all this free stuff is and how I can get me some!

    Some nitwit was blathering on about how this family was getting all the benefits and, I tell you, it looked like a full time job just to get benefits. You had to go here, go there, apply for this, apply for that, pick this up, pick that up, wait here, wait there – it wore me out just reading about it.

    What I want is for all the free stuff to be sent to me like Amazon does, but without me paying. When the pile on the doorstep gets too big I’ll bring some in. That’s what I want.

    And anti-gravity belts. Those would be cool, too.

  • laurentweppe

    The people who don’t know that it doesn’t work the way it’s claimed to work are the victims of it. That’s one of the reasons that they keep electing people whose main purpose in life is to screw them over.

    I don’t believe for one second that the people who elect supply-side clerics don’t know that it doesn’t work the way it claims: they elect these because they promised, through their racist/xenophobic rhetoric and dog-whistles to give their “loyal” voters preferential access to the scraps of wealth falling from the aristocrats’ table, repeating the twisted power relation which for centuries defined parasitic feudal societies.

    They fake naive belief in the virtues of supply-sides economics because no one is willing to readily confess that they cravenly kowtow to the biggest bullies in towns.

  • yoav

    cswella #9

    So claiming that we need to help the people at home before helping foreigners is just their way of saying, “We don’t want to help foreigners”.

    It’s only fair that real murcans™ get first chance to starve and die from preventable and treatable diseases.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Off-topic, another example of the GOP outreach effort:

    Big Stone (MN) GOP chairman steps down after anti-Muslim remarks

    Jack Whitley announced that he was stepping down as Big Stone County Republican Party chairman Friday, days after his online screeds also got him fired from his job at an Ortonville hardware store. Among other things, Whitley had written that Muslims are “parasites” and “terrorists,” and that someone should “FRAG ‘EM!”

  • dan4

    @21: Good.