Tuesday, November 17, 2009

China: Bow Down To Your Lender

China is now using its role as our lender to influence the terms of our health care reform:

In a July meeting, Chinese officials asked their American counterparts detailed questions about the health care legislation making its way through Congress. The president’s budget director, Peter R. Orszag, answered most of their questions. But the Chinese were not particularly interested in the public option or universal care for all Americans.

“They wanted to know, in painstaking detail, how the health care plan would affect the deficit,” one participant in the conversation recalled. Chinese officials expect that they will help finance whatever Congress and the White House settle on, mostly through buying Treasury debt, and like any banker, they wanted evidence that the United States had a plan to pay them back.

Who would have thought health care reform could become a national security issue?

The Chinese are getting skeptical about our ability to pay them back. Perhaps they will need to teach us a lesson in capitalism, which would be ironic to the max.

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