Opinion

Jensen: In defense of Ben Carson’s appointment to HUD

Author: Rick Jensen - December 12, 2016 - Updated: December 10, 2016

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Rick Jensen
Rick Jensen

How do we know Dr. Ben Carson is unqualified to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?

Because House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said so, calling him “disturbingly unqualified.”

“There is no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials to hold a position with such immense responsibilities and impact on families and communities across America,” Pelosi said.

She supported President Obama’s nominee, Julian Castro, whose “necessary” experience in the housing industry was limited to being mayor of San Antonio, a good tennis player and a loyal Democrat who credits affirmative action with his admission to Stanford University while his SAT score was, as Mr. Castro puts it, “well below the median.”

As is typical in such positions, Castro is simply a well-known partisan politician who carries the party banner. Otherwise, why would he have been on Obama’s short list for Transportation Secretary with no real federal transportation managerial or design experience?

Considering Pelosi’s skills at creating personal wealth through insider trading, as CBS’ “60 Minutes” reported, perhaps she herself could find a position as Secretary of Pelosi’s Personal Treasury.

This is going to be the problem with Republicans and Democrats for the next four years. Democrats will be doing all they can to delay and disrupt the Trump presidency, just as Republicans did all they could to try to defeat Obamacare, “stimulus,” cash for clunkers and other failed policies.

This is not to say Ben Carson would be the greatest, most effective Secretary of HUD. He just might fail as badly as Hillary Clinton did as Secretary of State.

With any luck, Dr. Carson will be able to rescind Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH) while Democrats are busy being outraged at The Donald’s latest tweet.

AFFH, Obama and Castro’s regulation designed to create more federal control over local communities, is HUD’s way of forcing suburbs and small towns to create new zoning to allow high-density, low-income housing in upscale areas.

Once your town accepts HUD money, HUD’s central planners determine whether or not your community has what they consider to be an acceptable number of minorities and refugees, low-income population, and whether any of these groups live too close to each other and are not well dispersed into all neighborhoods.

This is why wealthy Westchester County in New York is embroiled in a federal lawsuit at taxpayers’ expense.

“The Journal News” reported last May, “The most publicized provision of the settlement’s consent decree is the requirement Westchester greenlight 750 units of affordable housing in 31 of its richest and whitest communities by the end of this year.”

One stated goal is to provide better job opportunities to low-skilled poor.

It hasn’t worked.

While spending so many more millions to put Section 8 housing in wealthy neighborhoods, a 16 year HUD study published in 2011 found that these adults did not find better jobs.

More of them actually went on food stamps. Crime also increased in the neighborhoods.

After all, what jobs are they to find in such upscale neighborhoods? Automotive training in a lawyer’s 4-car garage? Assembly lines in McMansion craft kitchens?

No, they found some landscaping work and not much public transportation either.

Most people don’t buy million dollar homes in Westchester (or the average half million) to work there. They commute.

However, your town council signing new HUD agreements could allow the federal government to force suburbs and small towns to raise taxes for more buses, wider roads or even light rail for these new residents.

Now, some towns have decided to avoid the federal government’s control of their communities by refusing HUD money.

This list of HUD recalcitrants is growing. Numerous reports indicate Castle Rock, Colorado; New Hampshire towns of Bedford, Goffstown and Rindge; and Sedgewick County, Kansas, are simply refusing to accept HUD money.

This way, HUD has no authority to rewrite their zoning laws.

No one should ever be refused housing based on their race, religion or creed. However, is it really the government’s job to insist federally subsidized, low-income housing be built next door to the mansions of Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton?

Maybe not. Hillary’s hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y. is also fighting HUD.

Rick Jensen

Rick Jensen

Rick Jensen is a award-winning conservative talk show host in Delaware. Contact Rick at rick@wdel.com, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.