During the conversation, a couple I was talking with individually made comments about America owing everything to China and that before too long, China will be dictating policy in America and that Obama has "sold us out" to the Chinese because of our "out of control debt." When I told them China did not own us and that America owes more to Americans than to China I was met with looks of total disbelief. At the end of the conversation, I was not sure they believed me or not. So, here are the FACTS when it comes to our budget deficit and national debt.
According to the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve, as of September, 2012, the United States owed a total of approximately $16 Trillion! A massive sum of money to be sure. But to make the following numbers look "fair and balanced" I present data from an article just published on September 4, 2012 by Greg Wilson for Fox News! Now we know Mitt Romney has a habit of characterizing Obama as "selling out" to China on our debt and allowing them to play outside of the rules on fair trade, all designed to incite the Republican base, but even those statements are not true. According to Mr. Wilson and Fox News, The United States owes "Fully two-thirds of the national debt is owed to the U.S. government, American investors and future retirees, through the Social Security Trust Fund and pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel. China, it turns out, holds less than 8 percent of the money our government has borrowed over the years." Wait a minute here! That can't be true, China OWNS us, right? Nope. China only holds 8% of our total debt. In fact, behind China comes Japan, the UK and many other countries, many of which we send foreign aid to amounting to Billions of dollars. But how can that be? Can you say "political narratives?" We are constantly bombarded about how "out of control" our spending is and how afraid we must be because Obama is selling America to the highest bidder. One problem though...the highest bidder is America itself! Why? Because unlike Romney and Ryan instilling fear in Americans, Americans invest in America because it is the safest and securest bet.
So is America at a real risk of being foreclosed on by the holders of all our debts? Would Americans really shut down the American economy because we owe so much to ourselves? Not a chance! So why the outrage about China? Why the fear mongering? Because it makes great political theater that's why. It plays well with the uninformed and gullible electorate that believes everything they hear on ideologically based media. They also regularly buy into the Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin,, Eric Cantor, John Beohner and the GOP "crazy train" that the only way to reduce the debt we owe to ourselves is to provide more incentives to the wealthy at the expense of the poor and working Middle Class (including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid). Isn't it time for Americans to wake up and realize that folks invest IN America, not to foreclose and shut her down, but because investing in America is a good bet!?
For more on Political Narratives, check out "How Our Government Really Works, Despite What They Say."