Of Two Minds: On Housing Cuts and Housing Spending, Ben Carson Tries To Split the Baby

Grilled on Capitol Hill yesterday at his confirmation hearing about the policy intricacies of Housing and Urban Development, the agency he has been nominated to run, Ben Carson displayed all the expertise of a man whose specialty is cutting apart two-headed babies.

When it came to cutting spending, Carson and the Republican senators had a real meeting of the minds. Carson assured the senators that there was vast spending he could cut at HUD. However, on one program after another he discussed ways he wanted to spend more money. Among them–laudably!–was Carson’s interest in opening clinics for lead-exposure abatement.

That wasn’t the only way Carson tried to split the baby. Asked about an Obama Administration rule pushing for proactive identification of discriminatory patterns, the former cutter-aparter of two-headed babies seemed to speak out of both sides of his one-headed mouth, saying:

“That act says that we want people who are receiving HUD grants to look around and see if they find anything that looks like discrimination and then we want them to come up with a solution.”

AND he said:

“I don’t have any problem with affirmative action or integration, I have no problem with that at all. But I do have a problem with people on high dictating it when they have no idea what’s going on in an area.”

Got it? First he says it’s people getting HUD grants who come up with the solutions, then  he says it’s Washington. Apparently two heads really are better than one.