Ben Carson on the minimum wage Ben Carson
Image via Shutterstock

During a recent interview, Carson said it would be “very difficult” to live on $7.25 an hour and that the federal minimum wage should be indexed in order to change with fluctuating circumstances.

Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said on a recent bus tour to California captured by Axios on HBO that he “didn’t have any problem with raising the minimum wage,” but stopped short of promising to push for it.

Calling it “very difficult” to live on $7.25 an hour, Carson said during the interview that the minimum wage should be indexed in order to change with fluctuating circumstances. “Then you don’t keep having this argument every 10 or 15 years.”

With his department facing broad budget cuts, Carson has supported diminishing the government’s role in housing the poor and vulnerable, instead pushing for fewer regulations and asking churches and the private sector to step in and shelter America’s booming homeless population.  

During the tour, which was aimed at discussing multi-level strategies to handle the state’s housing crisis, Carson focused on the party line that government programs have fostered a “dependency” in the nation’s poor. He met with formerly homeless youths and spoke to them about the potential of the human brain.

Confronted with results of a National Low Income Housing Coalition study that found that a worker earning $7.25 must work 103 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom rental home, Carson was asked how he would support his family on that income. 

“Probably the way my mother did it,” Carson said. “Work three jobs at a time.”

Both Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders have said they support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The House of Representatives passed legislation in July 2019 to raise it to $15 an hour by 2025.