As far as Google Trends is concerned, a black man won Tuesday night’s GOP debate on the Fox Business News channel. Ben Carson, the embattled frontrunner in the most recent major poll, was the most-searched candidate of the evening. However, Black voters actually came away with little to pin their hopes on in the fourth Republican debate of the 2016 presidential election cycle, which convened in Milwaukee.
Even though the economy was the theme of the debate, addressing black unemployment received one fleeting mention by one candidate. Blink, and you missed it. Little surprise there, though there were some eye-brow raising moments (mostly attributable to Carson) and a couple of nods to people and issues relating to African Americans…sort of.
So while other accounts of debate will mention Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie’s juice box moment in the undercard event or how the audience booed Trump when he singled out Carly Fiorina as an interrupter, we’re going to focus on the 5 noteworthy, blackish moments from the debate.
Carson makes the one mention of black unemployment all evening
As protests to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour took place outside the Milwaukee Theatre and in cities across the nation, candidates gave their take on the issue. The Economic Policy Institute says that if we even raised the federal minimum hourly wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $12 by 2020, more than one-third of black workers would receive higher pay and 35 million American workers overall would benefit.
However, most of the candidates who took on the question deemed it a job-killer, and Carson was no exception.
“Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases,” he said. “It’s particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one. You know, that—and that’s because of those high wages. If you lower those wages, that comes down.”
The real question, he said, was “How do we allow people to ascend the ladder of opportunity, rather than how do we give them everything and keep them dependent?”
Ben Carson disappears questions about his honesty by waving the “Benghazi”wand
Carson’s truthfulness has been called into question as of late, particularly accounts made in his book and during speaking engagements about having attempted to stab a friend and receiving a full scholarship to West Point. Fox News host Neil Cavuto broached the topic in the most obsequious way possible.
“You recently railed against the double-standard in the media, sir, that seems obsessed with inconsistencies and potential exaggerations in your life story, but looked the other way when it came to then-Senator Barack Obama’s. Still, as a candidate whose brand has always been trust, are you worried your campaign— which you’ve always said, sir, is bigger than you—is now being hurt by you?”
Carson caught the softball with a quip: “Well, first of all, thank you not asking me what I said in the 10th grade. I appreciate that.”
After a pause for laughter, he continued, “I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about and then putting that out there as truth.”
Then he played a gambit that works like a charm with right wing audiences: mention Benghazi.
“I don’t even mind that so much, if they do it about—with everybody, like people on the other side. But, you know, when I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton, who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official that no, this was a terrorist attack, and then tells everybody else that it was a video.
“Where I came from, they call that a lie.”
After the inevitable applause subsided, Carson claimed that his claim about being offered a scholarship to West Point had been misinterpreted and that he is an “honest” person. And with that, the matter was closed.
Carson longs for the good old days before “regulation” (and emancipation) ruined America’s booming economy
Carson has a puzzling relationship with America’s peculiar institution. He has compared both Obamacare and abortion to slavery, but seems to have forgotten the central role of forced, unpaid labor in building our nation and driving the boom years of the cotton trade.
When asked about his approach to regulation, he actually held up the antebellum environment as one worth emulating.
“This country was—declared its independence in 1776,” said Carson. “In less than 100 years, it was the number-one economic power in the world. And the reason was because we had an atmosphere that encouraged entrepreneurial risk- taking and capital investment. Those are the fuels that drive it. And what we’ve done now is let the creep of regulation turn into a stampede of regulations, which is involved in every aspect of our lives. If we can get that out, it makes a big difference.”
Ted Cruz mentions a black single mom – and she’s a welfare queen job creator
Sen. Ted Cruz wants to abolish the IRS, as he reminded us Tuesday night. To illustrate his point of what a big bad bully the tax collecting agency is, he invoked the name of Sabina Loving, “an African-American single mom who started a tax preparation business in the south side of Chicago.”
Loving is a complainant in the Loving v. Commissioner case, one of three independent tax preparers who accuse the IRS of not having the authority to license them.
“Then the IRS promulgated new regulations targeting tax preparers,” Cruz explained. “They did it under a more than 100-year-old statute called the Dead Horse Act. Now, this statute and the IRS in classic Washington crony fashion had exemptions for lawyers and big fancy accountants, but Sabina had to pay $1,000 an employee. It would have driven her out of business, and Ms. Loving sued the IRS. She took the Obama IRS to court, and she won, and they struck down the rule for picking the big guys over the little guys.”
Rubio defends a feature of his tax plan that could benefit low-income black families against “welfare” attack
Sen. Marco Rubio pushed back on criticism by Sen. Rand Paul that his proposed expansion of child tax credits amounts to a “welfare transfer payment.”
Rubio’s plan includes “a new, partially refundable Child Tax Credit of up to $2,500 per child,” that is on top of the current one, refundable against payroll taxes, according to his web site.
The Washington bureau of the National Urban League has said that “With four million African American children living in poverty today,” the current Child Tax Credit, along with the Earned Income Tax Credit, “are critical in helping to improve the lives of so many of these children and their families,” and “lift more children out of poverty than any other program[s].”
When asked Tuesday evening by Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker if his proposed new child tax credit simply added “another expensive entitle program to an already overburdened federal budget,” Rubio said “It is expensive to raise children in the 21st century, and families that are raising children are raising the future taxpayers of the United States ….”
“And so, yes, I have a child tax credit increase, and I’m proud of it. I am proud that I have a pro-family tax code, because the pro- family tax plan I have willstrengthen the most important institution in the — in the country, the family.”