In Tonight's Debate, Mitt Romney Will Say That You're Chinese

Election '16

Mitt Romney doesn't hate Big Bird -- Big Bird's just the right height! -- he says wants to cut funding for PBS  because he's "not willing to borrow money from China so that PBS doesn't have to run advertising." 

If you repeat something often enough, people will come to believe it to be true, even if it's not. So it is with the widespread belief that we finance our public debt by "borrowing from China" -- it's become a ubiquitous talking-point.

That doesn't mean it's true. The reality is that, as of May, China held 7.4 percent of our public debt. Chinese holdings combined with those of our second biggest foreign creditor, Japan, represent less than 15 percent of the debt. 

Less than a third is held by foreign entities. The largest creditor is the government itself -- a bit more than 40 percent of all federal debt is held in the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, trust funds for various military and civilian retirement plans, etc. 

The rest is owned by American individuals, corporations, charities and the like. 

A full run-down of who owns the debt can be found here.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}