Dr. Carson On Ending Subsidies

Dr. Carson On Ending Subsidies

Dr. Ben Carson answers questions on RURAL TOWN HALL Dr. Ben Carson answers questions on RURAL TOWN HALL

August 24, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFDTV) - Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson shared his ideas for ending subsidies in both the energy and agriculture industries during RFD-TV's RURAL TOWN HALL. The republican candidate expressed and clarified his position when asked directly about both industries.

Monte Shaw, of America's Renewable Future, broached the subject of subsidies by asking Dr. Carson about his views on renewable fuel standards.

"I'm not a big proponent of subsidies of any type," said Carson, "but I do believe in fairness. And the fact that, you know, access to fueling stations throughout the country is largely monopolized by the oil industry makes it very difficult for other types of fuels, regardless of their merits, to be able to play on a level field. I think that's an area that needs to be examined and worked on. But in general, I'm for getting rid of subsidies. Not acutely. I think you have to do it over a period of time, because you have to give all the markets an opportunity to adjust.  So, but that would include subsidies that the oil industry gets as well. I would get rid of virtually every subsidy in the country, over the course of time, and let the free market rise and fall, because that's the way our system is supposed to work, and that's what creates the strongest sources of everything. It eliminates the weakest sources."

Timothy Meinch from the Des Moines Register followed up with a direct question on farm subsidies. "What is your opinion on agricultural subsidies available to farmers in Iowa, and the rest of the nation?  And specifically, what type of reform, if any, would you support immediately for the ag subsidies structure?"

"That's an easy one," said Carson. "You could probably figure out my answer from the last one. And that is, I would gradually reduce them all. The reason I wouldn't do it acutely is because a lot of things have been built on those subsidies, and you can't just, you know, withdraw that support immediately and expect people to be able to adjust. But I think our nation, as a whole, will be considerably stronger when the government is not involved in picking winners and losers. When winners and losers are picked on the basis of what they produce, their merits, and the value that they provide to the society."

But the topic of farm subsidies didn't end there. RFD-TV's Mark Oppold, who moderated RURAL TOWN HALL, pressed Carson further.

"When I visit as a farm broadcaster," said Oppold, "no matter what the organization is, they're also, they're all wondering about the subsidies and those years when they need some support.  Just addressing that, when mother nature kind of takes over.

"Well, you know, when it comes to very large entities, "said Carson, "that have to engage in entrepreneurial risk taking, when a large segment of our society is going to be effected by their success or failure, that is a time when I think we have to be looking at certain types of insurance that we make available to them.  Because we cannot let one bad year destroy, you know, their entire operation.  But, you know, that's really a matter of insurance that can be guaranteed, as opposed to subsidies."

Find out more from RURAL TOWN HALL with Dr. Ben Carson.

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