Carson calls poverty ‘a state of mind’

Carson calls poverty ‘a state of mind’
© Greg Nash

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push On The Money: Congress, White House aim to include debt limit increase in spending deal | McConnell optimistic budget deal near | Carson defends HUD eviction plan | Senate votes to undo tax hike on Gold Star families Oreo weighs in on Ben Carson confusion: REO stands for 'Really Excellent Oreo' MORE said this week that poverty to “a large extent is also a state of mind.”

“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there,” he said in a SiriusXM radio interview released Wednesday. “And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.”

Carson added that a “defeatist attitude” could prevent people from escaping poverty.


“You know, that’s real poverty,” he said. “If you don’t have that defeatist attitude, there’s hope for you.”

“I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way and that’s where government can come in, and be very helpful,” Carson added. “It can provide a ladder of opportunity, it can provide the mechanism that we demonstrate to them what can be done.”

Carson made the comments during a town hall recorded Tuesday that will air in full late Wednesday. Sirius released clips of Carson’s interview with longtime friend Armstrong Williams to news outlets to promote the broadcast.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s 2018 budget blueprint would cut more than $6 billion from HUD’s budget.