Perhaps most urgently, the next president will have to admit what George W. Bush would not—that if we don't put our fiscal house in order, China will foreclose on it.
Think about that for a minute
As Obama has pointed out, "It's very hard to tell your banker that he's wrong."
Preach it, Obama
This year's federal budget deficit will be a record $500 billion, not counting wars and economic bailouts. One of history's headlines on this administration will be, "Bush Owes to China."
The rise of China is the story of this Olympics and threatens to be the story of the next presidency. So it's only fitting to give viewers a sense of what's at stake.
My dream ad would show the robot Wall-E methodically stacking pressed blocks of discarded dollar bills to form giant structures, which turn out to be the Bird's Nest stadium, the Water Cube aquatic center, and the CCTV tower. The script would go something like this:
"Sponsor" (60 seconds)
Voiceover: "Ever wonder what Washington has done with your tax dollars? This Olympics is your chance to find out. For the last 8 years, the Bush administration has been paying China billions of dollars in interest on the trillions it borrowed for tax breaks, pork, and special privileges you never got. That money helped create thousands of businesses and millions of jobs—in China. So as you enjoy the games, keep an eye on your tax dollars at work. The way our economy's going, it's tough to pay your bills. But take heart: You already paid China's."
Tagline: "America's Taxpayers. Proud Sponsors of the Beijing Olympics."
I hate alarmist, the-dollar-is-dead, the-sky-is-falling, the-end-is-near economic writing, but this piece paints an interesting picture to think about as we watch these Games and this growing superpower. It's also a good example of a justified reason to be upset about your taxes! How many email forwards have you received bitching about how much we spend on social services, environmental protection, and (I kid you not, I received this one) grants to organizations such as the Special Olympics? How many forwards have you received that make the connection between our taxes and the interest that we pay to China to cover our irresponsible spending for the last eight years?