Dr. Ben Carson says he believes there are "some people" in government who don't want the economy to improve because it might hurt support for social programs, such as welfare.
"We have the ability in this nation to get the economy moving," Carson said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
"I actually believe that perhaps some of the things that are going on right now which could be easily remedied are not being remedied in order to keep the economy depressed because there would be no appetite for many of the social programs if people were doing well."
Pressed by host Megyn Kelly whether he thinks President Obama and his administration is behind such an effort, Carson declined to name names, saying only, "I think there may be 'some people' – I don't know exactly who they are. But it seems to me like it would be relatively easy to fix some of this stuff."
He said that Obama, Republicans and Democrats in Washington have said the American corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world, needs to be lowered.
"Have they lowered it? No," Carson said. "Have they done anything about our arcane, just ridiculous, taxation system? No. Do they talk about it? Yes."
Carson recently battled on air when he appeared on "The View."
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg took offense when he said welfare programs hurt those they are intended to help.
Goldberg said she is a former welfare mother and wasn't happy to have to take her children to the store and pay for groceries with food stamps.
Carson told Kelly that he doesn't think all welfare recipients are happy to be on assistance, but some are.
"I think some people have that as a way of life. It's generational. It's intergenerational," he said. "I'm happy for people who truly need help to get help."
After great progress was made during the struggles of the civil rights movement, some liberals started patronizing poor black people, he said, telling them they can't do anything for themselves and needed their help.
"In some cases it was to assuage their guilt," Carson said of those who offered help. "In some cases they genuinely felt that they couldn't help themselves."
America, he said, is moving from a can-do society to a what-can-you-do-for-me? society.
"That never leads to the elevation of a society," he said. "That always leads to the decline of a society."
Appearing earlier on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper,"
Carson explained his defense of pro-choice Republican Monica Wehby, who won the GOP nomination for Senate from Oregon on Tuesday.
Republicans should be pragmatic, Carson told Tapper. He did not give up his principles to back Wehby, he said, because Republicans first have to win majorities in Washington before worrying about intraparty differences.
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