Dr. Ben Carson and his wife,
Lacena "Candy" Carson. (AP)
Dr. Ben Carson was the guest on ABC’s The View on Tuesday but Mrs. Lacena “Candy” Carson was in the audience, and when asked about her grandchildren, Mrs. Carson said when she looks at them she reminds herself that the national debt is over $18 trillion and will take 5,000 years to pay off -- if we pay $10 million every day, 365 days a year -- and “we can’t do that to them.”
“But when I see these [babies], it just makes me more determined that whatever I can do, I’m going to do,” said Mrs. Carson. “Because it’s not fair to them.”
During the show, co-host Paula Faris noted that Ben and Candy Carson have been married 40 years but that Candy had said she did not want her husband to run for president until she became a grandmother. (The Carsons have three sons.)
“You are now a grandmother of two,” said Faris. “Why did you not want him to run for president until you became a grandma?”
Mrs. Carson said, “We’ve been married 40 years, and we celebrated in New Hampshire with 600 of our closest friends. (Laughter.) But getting back to the two granddaughters, one of whom was born on leap year 2012, so she didn’t even have a birthday this year but she had a party. The other one is going to turn two next month.”
“When you look in those little faces and you think about the debt our country has,” she said. “We’re at $18-and-a-half trillion, which to pay it off – if you were to pay it off at $10 million every day, 365 days a year – 365 days a year! – it would take you 5,000 years.”
“That’s how bad it is,” said Mrs. Carson. “We’re the first generation to make it worse for the next generation. When I look at those little faces, I say, ‘we can’t do that to them.’”
She continued, “When I see other people’s babies -- because I don’t see my own because we’re not home -- but when I see these [babies], it just makes me more determined that, whatever I can do, I’m going to do. Because it’s not fair to them.”
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the current national debt is $18,150,640,277,750.63.
If the government tried to pay that debt off by paying $10 million a day, 365 days a year, it would take 4,972 years.
The national debt, in general, is the amount of money the federal government has borrowed over the years to supplement federal spending beyond tax revenues (deficit spending), pay off creditors abroad and at home, and pay obligations such as Social Security.