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Poverty, Poor Ben Carson, and a $31,000 Table

Poverty, Poor Ben Carson, and a $31,000 Table

Christopher Brauchli

And homeless near a thousand homes I stood,
And near a thousand tables pined and wanted food.
—William Wordsworth, Guilt and Sorrow


Our well-to-do are starting to think of themselves as the aristocracy of American society. Pruittt of course seems to know full well that his policies are making a lot of enemies–not just nationally but globally. And still he persists.


Can anyone here honestly tell me they think these wonderful servants should travel with the commoners?
My god these people are special.

Off to Guantanamo with all of these low life’s !!


That table cost almost 3X my annual SS income


Are people more upset at the apparent misappropriation of public funds, or the insult that Carson would spend more for a table than the typical annual income of the people he is supposed to be helping?

Edit: sorry, annasdottir, I guess I skipped over your post, and I wasn’t specifically replying to you, just trying to get a sense of the article.

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For me it is that latter, as 30,000 relative to the actual cuts in these programs is a tiny drop, of a drop, in the bucket. Also, it is the utter hypocrisy of this particular Secretary (surely he knew Candy was doing this, if not at his direction) who has spouted his Conservative dogma aimed at berating the poor for taking “handouts” from the taxpayer. But what else is new from these right wingers.


There is an aspect of this problem that is overlooked: When the government comes calling, the price of anything (from pencils to rubber bands to fancy dining tables) skyrockets as the sellers look for an opportunity to strike it rich at the tax payers expense. Beyond that, such extravagance shows Dr. Carson is a poor manager. One also wonders how much the dishes, silverware, coffee cups and water gasses would cost that would befit such an expensive table.

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$30,000 for a table. $1 million to travel privately in 1 year. These people are so fucking disconnected from the vast, vast majority of the Americans they supposedly “serve,” there is no more evidence needed that we live in a kleptocracy/oligarchy NOT a democracy. The question is what are we the people going to do about it, assuming we still have any options. We have had most of our rights taken from us, with nary a peep from the majority of us, or in many cases cheered it on in exchange for “more security.” I know, I know - “we can vote.” Pffft. Yes, because it has been proven that voting works. Not. We vote, and whether there are D’s or R’s in power, either way we continue to lose rights, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and the occasional step forward is negated by the two steps backward taken immediately afterwards. For every “gain” in environmental protections we have slaved over for decades, 5 have been taken away. For every “gain” in workplace safety, anti-discrimination, equal rights/opportunities, workers’ rights, hell name your poison - 5 have been taken away. Decades of progress has been wiped out in the last twenty years. There is more income equality now than there was in the early 1900’s. There is more pollution pouring into our water and air than at any point since the 1970’s. More if you consider fracking, which is pretty much completely unregulated and nobody knows just what it is doing to the earth and water aquifers, although we know it is not good, when your tap water catches on fire. Global warming is hitting negative feedback loops now. Instead of tightening gun restrictions, our government is just about ready to implement MORE guns in schools. After innumerable historical examples of apartheid, discrimination, genocide, and being on the wrong side - we double down in our support of apartheid Zionist Israel against the Palestinians, and Saudi Arabia against the Yemenis, and countless other brutal dictatorships the world over. Instead of reducing nukes, we are actively increasing their numbers and the chances of their being used. Instead of trying to foster peace and avert war, we are going out of our way to incite violent conflict all over the globe.

On an on. One little $30,000 table is indicative of a systemic rot that goes all the way down to the cellar of the house that is this country, and it has spread through every particle of every room in that house. I can’t see any possible way of averting the eventual collapse of that house, save a fire and rebuilding.

Turns out it wasn’t just a table, but “includes a table, sideboard, breakfront – all in mahogany – and 10 mahogany chairs with a blue velvet finish, according to the company that sold the furniture to the agency and purchase documents obtained by CNN.”

Nevertheless, if the existing furniture was not usable (which of course I’m sure it was just fine though HUD claims it was “old and raggedy”), then of all the organizations in DC, HUD could have been the one to contract with the Amish or some such good US furniture makers to make simple functional furniture with an eye towards sustainable wood choice. The fact that Carson didn’t give these kinds of general instructions that “hey, we are HUD, so we have to be actually conservative in our budget” goes to show he is now a pathetic administrator regardless of how skilled a doctor he used to be.

The 6 Democrats (Warner, Heitkamp, Donnely, Brown, Manchin, Tester) should be embarrassed by their confirmation vote. Warren voted to move him along in the banking committee but then flipped when it came to the final vote - probably when many people told her that it was pointless to give this guy any support whatsoever.