In the lead-up to the 2010 election, Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-spending front group based in Washington D.C., released an ad designed to provoke xenophobic fears about Chinese holding of a portion of our national debt. The ad, titled “Chinese Professor,” depicts a fictional Chinese classroom in the year 2030 where a Chinese professor recounts the economic downfall of the United States and notes, “Of course, we owned most of their debt, so now they work for us”:
Last week, during a Fort Lauderdale town hall, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) cited the Chinese Professor ad in his warning about “serious” threats facing the United States. West referenced the ad as the one “about the Japanese professor”:
WEST: This is historically what our debt looks like. You can see from 1970, foreign holdings, 5 percent, to where we are today, foreign holdings of our debt is at 47 percent. Next slide. And that is who holds our debt. 29 percent to China, Japan, and you can see the rest. I don’t know if you all have seen that commercial that’s been running on TV about the Japanese professor in the future that’s making fun of the United States of America. This is really serious stuff.