In a new commercial for U.S. Senate candidate and former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, an actress portraying a youngish Chinese woman rides her bike up to the camera and thanks "Debbie Spend-It-Now" for putting America deeply into debt. The actress’s less-than-perfect syntax has drawn fire for playing on stereotypes. But the real problem is the half-baked economics that the ad promotes.

There's a saying in the financial world: "If you owe the bank $10,000 and you can't pay, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $10,000,000 and can't pay, the bank has a problem." On the surface, being a creditor might seem like the stronger position and it often is, but only up to a point. If the debtor, be it an individual, company or country, is in any risk of defaulting, the creditor stands to lose everything they loaned. At this point the federal debt situation is dire enough that it could drag down both countries eventually.

China doesn't get rich by holding American debt. China makes money only if we find a way to make good on our bonds. And the most likely way for that to happen is for the American economy to grow while government spending is reined in.

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There are other issues where American and Chinese interests might come into conflict, but on this one the Chinese only do well if we do well first. By all means, criticize Sen. Debbie Stabenow's spending, but leave the Chinese out of this one. They aren't the source of our debt problem. Washington is.


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