Don’t blame all credit woes on China

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

Populist politicians are much too eager to jump on the bogeyman bandwagon.

They seem not to care or notice that the bumps and jolts under their wheels are the facts being run over beneath them.

Consider the popularly held belief that China “owns” the United States because it holds the majority of our debt.

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Despite what many politicians and fringe groups would scare us into believing, China is not the United States’ biggest creditor. That title goes to America itself.

China holds slightly more than 7 percent of the total U.S. debt, according to The Associated Press. And despite what you might hear, China has been cutting its holdings, down from about 10 percent a few years ago.

In fact, China is having its own debt problems, with economic recovery proving slow and the nation actually suffering through a rare trade deficit in March.

Yes, the United States has a huge debt problem, as evidenced by the $16.8 trillion deficit that is growing by the second. That debt is hindering everything from economic rebound to government-funded services and infrastructure improvements.

But Americans hold the bulk of the debt through the Federal Reserve, Social Security system, pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel, U.S. banks, mutual funds, private pension plans, insurance companies and individual investors. …

It is one matter for U.S. politicians to zero in on real concerns, such as human rights, counterfeiting of U.S. products, trade policies, currency manipulation or computer hacking.

It is quite another matter for them to demonize China for controlling our destiny by owning the majority of our debt, when it is not true.

Rather than creating and blaming a fictitious bogeyman, we need to accept responsibility for the actions that led to the deficit and implement sensible solutions.

The Decatur Daily