While President Obama enjoys a fabulously expensive vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, his Vice-President, Joe Biden, has been touring China. It’s important to make sure the Chinese keep buying U.S. government debt, to finance our tottering welfare state and their rapidly-growing military. It is therefore puzzling that Joe Biden was the salesman sent to the People’s Republic.
For example, while speaking with a group of medical students at Sichuan University, Biden claimed that dealing with the impending collapse of our unsustainable entitlements would be a piece of cake, if it weren’t for those dastardly Tea Party terrorists. As related in the UK Telegraph, Biden put it this way:
It’s easy to make those changes, and we had a tentative agreement to do that between the major political leaders of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party and the administration. But there is a group within the Republican Party that is a very strong voice now that did – wanted different changes, and so that deal fell through at the very end.
Who knows which deal he’s talking about? The Republicans were the only ones who ever made any specific proposals, save for Harry Reid’s eleventh-hour Senate plan, which was maybe 25% concrete and 75% vapor. Someone should remind Biden that the Chinese are perfectly capable of reading Standard & Poor’s statements for themselves, and are unlikely to rely on his cheap partisan point-scoring version of events when they make investment decisions.
Following this triumph of statesmanship, Biden uncorked his deep thoughts about China’s impending difficulty with unsustainable entitlement programs:
But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.
But in the meantime, the concern that we will not make good on the investments that people have made – in your case up to $1.7 trillion total out of a very large economy is not to worry about. We could not afford – we could not afford not to make good on that requirement.
Starting with his last point first: the gross domestic product of the United States is a little over $14 trillion, considerably less than our rapidly growing national debt. The “$1.7 trillion total out of a very large economy” Biden mentioned – presumably a reference to Barack Obama’s federal deficit, much of which is borrowed from China – is about 12% of our GDP. A mere pittance! Nothing to worry about!
Of course, it’s Biden’s reference to China’s forced abortion policy that will generate the big headlines, and deservedly so. Even by his standards, it’s an epic outburst of moral blindness and pure stupidity.
For starters, Biden is nominally Catholic, although if the Church has gotten wind of his comments in China, they might already be taking steps to remedy that situation. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Biden was asked what he would say if his running mate asked him when life begins. This was his answer:
I’d say, ‘Look, I know when it begins for me.’ It’s a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I am prepared to accept the teachings in my Church… For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I, seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society.
How do you get from that mushy non-judgmental pluralism to expressing “full understanding” of forced abortions, and declaring your refusal to “second guess” a State-mandated one-child-per-family policy?
Furthermore, Biden’s endorsement of Chinese abortion policy, in the context of discussing unsustainable entitlements, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how entitlements work – all the more dismaying because right in that very speech, he mentions “one wage earner taking care of four retired people.” Guess what, Mr. Vice-President? If you abort all the children, there won’t be enough wage earners to keep the Ponzi scheme running. That dreadful four-to-one ratio he’s describing gets worse when so much of the younger generation dies in the womb.
Incidentally, this is yet another on-the-record moment when Obama, or a member of his administration, has openly admitted that Social Security and similar entitlement programs are indeed Ponzi schemes, with no “lock boxes” or carefully guarded assets set aside for retirees. It’s today’s workers paying for today’s retirees. Those who are well-educated on the issue have known this for decades, but it’s always useful for the ignorant to receive official confirmation from their paragons.
Another uncomfortable truth Biden pointedly avoided mentioning in his speech is that China’s abortion policy has not affected men and women equally. Girls are more commonly aborted, leaving a ratio of about 120 boys per 100 girls. A recent article in Forbes projected that by 2030, “more than 25% of Chinese men in their late 30s will never have married.” And even this imbalance will not be spread evenly across the Chinese population, as low-income, uneducated men from the hinterlands will have particular difficulty attracting brides.
What is the most likely future for an aggressive, totalitarian country with a huge surplus population of poor, unmarried young men, plus a keen appetite for natural resources, and military upgrades financed by loaning money to America’s ravenous entitlement state?
Joe Biden doesn’t “fully understand” China’s forced abortion policy. He doesn’t understand it at all.