Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"from foreign countries we'll never even visit"

AP's fact check of romney's recent "prairie fire"/"spending inferno" speech includes this bit from the speech:
I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno. We will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can't even imagine, from foreign countries we'll never even visit.
that "foreign countries we'll never even visit" line is really puzzling. is debt better when you're borrowing from countries you will visit? what does visiting have to do with debt anyway?

also these mysterious foreign countries he's referencing. we're talking about china, right? that's the single largest lender for u.s. debt and the one that usually comes up when we're talking about americans owing money to scary foreigners. china isn't some obscure backwater that no one visits. i can't find any recent numbers but in 2008, 573,000 americans were expected to visit the PRC. obviously that's only a small fraction of the overall population of the u.s. but that's just one year. that means that millions of americans have or will visit china over the course of their lifetime.