Election 2016

Ben Carson Made Millions Sitting On Board Of Company Whose Founder Lobbied For Obamacare

The personal financial disclosure forms for Ben Carson are pretty interesting.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MARCH 8, 2014: Neurosurgeon and author Ben Carson speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Photo Credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Today, the federal government released the personal financial disclosure forms for GOP presidential nominee Ben Carson. Carson made most of his money from the last few years from speaking fees to small conservative nonprofits and universities, as well as book sales.

But one of the largest individual chunks of Carson's income comes from his board membership to the wholesale retailer Costco. According to the disclosure, Carson made between $1 million and $5 million while sitting on the Board there between 1999 and May 2015:

This is notable because of the ways that Costco departs from Carson's conservative ideology. Its founder Jim Sinegal lobbied for Obamacare and a higher minimum wage, and the company has been touted by President Obama in return. Its business practices emphasize higher wages and benefits, as opposed to its opponent Wal-Mart's infamous low-wage economy.

Recall that Carson has described the Affordable Care Act as “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.” He has said it has “taken the joy” out of the lives of doctors, and said it's a “bunch of crap” that some Republicans are now talking about keeping it rather than repealing it.

There seems to be a disconnect between Ben Carson slagging Obamacare and the company he has made money from embracing it. Although it should be noted that Carson has said the minimum wage “probably” needs to be higher. You have to wonder if Carson will be able to fully endorse the pro-worker and pro-healthcare policies of the company who he has endorsed as a board member and profited from.

Zaid Jilani is an AlterNet staff writer. Follow @zaidjilani on Twitter.

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