Korobov: Ben Carson, an outsider's voice


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As I approached a voluminous room at the Marriott in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, I was greeted by a line of people that stretched around the hallway. After waiting and gradually making my way inside, I was thrown into a room of what looked like more than 200 people. Some were holding up blue signs reading, “Run Ben Run.”

The seats were all taken, and people had crammed themselves shoulder to shoulder against the walls. After panicking about where I could possibly find a place to stand (sitting was out of the question), I eventually found a nook where I could crouch in the aisle.

I was able to see firsthand that this was the kind of enthusiasm that Ben Carson brought with him. After having attended events of several other presidential candidates, I was impressed.

When Rep. Rod Blum, who represents Iowa’s 1st District, introduced Carson, he presented him as an outsider. The retired and highly acclaimed neurosurgeon certainly does not come from the political world, having never held any kind of office.

This status as a political foreigner may make Carson a much-needed addition to a governing body that has become stale and ineffective. The country persistently fails in its most basic responsibilities. Sweeping deficits continue to make a balanced budget impossible. The border remains wildly porous. The regulatory environment has become increasingly complicated, hindering the development of the slowest economic “recovery” since the Great Depression.

Perhaps it is Carson’s distance from the political world and commonsense solutions that provide him with such strong grass-roots support.

As for tax reform, Carson touts the flat tax, which would establish a single percentage for all income earners. He wants to eliminate all tax loopholes and the IRS. The way Carson describes it is “if you make $10 billion, you put in a billion, if you make $10, you put in one dollar … what could be more fair than that?” The flat tax is not a novel concept, the idea has been floated within conservative circles for quite some time. However, it was Carson’s reasoning for this policy that I found unique: it unites the country.

This was a defining theme in Carson’s presentation; our country is plagued by those that have made a living trying to divide it. The flat tax would unify Americans because no one would be given an advantage due to loopholes and deductions. Everyone would feel like he or she contributes to the system and become more engaged in trying to make it better.

Carson talked about the inefficiencies caused by social programs that have become dangerously unsustainable. He justified his opposition to Obamacare as a resistance to government-controlled health care. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act seems to be in trouble. A Washington Post report revealed last week that almost half of the marketplaces set up by the law are in trouble financially.
The solution that Carson suggests is a national health-care savings plan that would begin accumulating at birth. This would give people total power in deciding how to spend their health-care dollars, rather than the plethora of restrictions in Obamacare.

Although Carson supports shrinking the government, there are some agencies that he thinks should take on alternative responsibilities. He wants the education department to monitor bias in higher learning and if they do not comply, reduce funding. I have seen a significant amount of liberal inclinations throughout my years in college, and can relate to this cause.

Rational ideas such as these as well as Carson’s unique background drive the fiery support he brings with him. My only hope is that the media gives him a fair shot and lets the public decide.

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