The National Debt: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

The national debt has long been portrayed as a burden we’re placing on future generations. John Oliver discusses how national debt works, why people are so concerned about it, and why it might be more helpful that you think.
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  1. darcey52


    Minuut geleden

    I love John Oliver but he actually has got this one wrong and didn’t go far enough. It is very easy to explain why interest rates are low and government debt increasing ....because it’s not really debt. The US government has the power to spend whatever money it wants - they are not borrowing money when they issue treasury bonds...inflation is the only restriction to how much it spends. The government can create the money to pay redeem its ‘debt’ anytime it wants... He needs to check out MMT .

  2. Ditkazbearz2


    8 minuten geleden

    Liberal debt lol

  3. Julien Yu

    Julien Yu

    9 minuten geleden

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  4. doublepinger


    34 minuten geleden

    Remember, literally everything the Republicans do is good, and even the sight of someone who *makes* things better for everyone means you burn it all down.

  5. rmichaels


    34 minuten geleden

    Tax cheat John Oliver.

  6. Tom Graham

    Tom Graham

    58 minuten geleden

    It is impossible to be in debt to yourself. It is all Banking Lies

  7. npage133


    Uur geleden

    I just hate Sarah Palin so much.

  8. Viktor Velev

    Viktor Velev

    Uur geleden

    Misleading as fuck. How the hell do you think the rich get richer? Because of genius mindset. Nope. Money printing and debt. There's no risk if the bank bails you out every time.

  9. R Men

    R Men

    Uur geleden

    John blew by how much interest we current pay on the national debt and how it could explode to well over $1T annually. If course, short term debt is beneficial. $30T with interest is a disaster.

  10. Jennifer Watson

    Jennifer Watson

    Uur geleden

    The various study consistently cure because bus resultantly visit minus a unkempt slash. five, husky lunchroom

  11. Captain Smith

    Captain Smith

    2 uur geleden

    _bang faces in Hawaii_

  12. Thomas Palazzolo

    Thomas Palazzolo

    2 uur geleden

    This isn't an insult but it's going to sound like an insult: Sarah Palin is what Peggy Hill would hallucinate while dying of a brain-rot.

  13. isoldaDoesStuff


    2 uur geleden


  14. isoldaDoesStuff


    3 uur geleden

    Liberalism is great, let Netflix and another multimillionaire companies not pay taxes.

  15. Ricardo


    3 uur geleden

    Lol it's not slavery? Right, it's modern slavery. Read about what China is doing in Venezuela and Africa. Oliver is nice, but it's like Q-Anon all the shit gone to just ONE side of the political compass.

  16. Cornholio


    3 uur geleden

    i swear this is the most retarded video i have ever seen

  17. John P

    John P

    3 uur geleden

    Hey John! You like doing deep dives. Audit the Fed! You'll be shocked where all the money is going. I dare you John, Audit the Fed!

  18. John Orosz

    John Orosz

    3 uur geleden

    The ILLUSION of an economy in Crooked Amerika! How can you create millionaires in an army of the rich? Not difficult. You take one BILLIONAIRE who hires politicians and makes them rich, they support Wall Street and things like Dick Cheney's 9/11. Can you imagine being born a millionaire OVER AND OVER AND OVER!

  19. womacks8675309


    3 uur geleden

    I wish that end commercial could exist as its own thing. That was awesome.

  20. Thomas Paulson

    Thomas Paulson

    3 uur geleden

    Stfu dude...this guy needs to just stop

  21. Oisin Dowling

    Oisin Dowling

    3 uur geleden

    There's no nominal tipping point, it will come whenever the powers that be decide that lending to the US no longer becomes a safe bet. Get some good investments in now America, you'll need it when (If?) the shit hits the fan

  22. IFCGaming


    3 uur geleden

    So larger and larger dependance on banks is not an issue at all?

  23. R Smith

    R Smith

    3 uur geleden

    "expert economists don't know either " is not comforting .

  24. Daniel Mirkin

    Daniel Mirkin

    3 uur geleden

    Of all the businessmen to chose from, you pick the guy bringing us to a sustainable environmental future? Elon has my vote!

  25. Laura Marschmallow

    Laura Marschmallow

    3 uur geleden

    All the time I hear people say "a government should be run like a company" I think: then the government should increase their income by raising taxes. But for some reason raising taxes leads to communism.



    3 uur geleden

    YOU'RE MY HERO! 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

  27. Izoto


    4 uur geleden

    Republicans are so pathetic.

  28. Xenos N.

    Xenos N.

    4 uur geleden

    Money is made up. Debt doesn't matter.

  29. devilmix85


    4 uur geleden

    OK BOOMER!! 🤣

  30. Adonis Villamor

    Adonis Villamor

    4 uur geleden

    Oh come on do not pretend to be victims. The national debt have no value for America. It impacts all other countries that use the U.S. dollar like China who is stupid enough to store a lot of it and invest in U.S. debts. Other countries has to produce resources, products and conduct services to earn their dollars. America who bought these products, technologies and services and owes these dumb countries money just turns on the printer and all debts are paid with pieces of IOU notes called the U.S. dollar. If you claim years of hard work and priceless materials are worth a piece of paper just printed and stamped by a money manipulator is fair then go to hell. Stop whining like victims!

  31. Brandi Baldwin

    Brandi Baldwin

    4 uur geleden

    It didn’t happen because the world is on the dollar standard. We keep printing more dollars. Give Peter Schiff a call. Hyperinflation is in the rear view mirror stating “objects closer than they appear”. You can’t print your way out of debt. We’re fucked!

  32. Philipp Wegner

    Philipp Wegner

    4 uur geleden

    This show just keeps getting better and better. Thanks guys, much obliged :)

  33. Stefan Langenhoven

    Stefan Langenhoven

    5 uur geleden

    3 pages of your notes app 😂

  34. SquillyMon


    5 uur geleden

    Before I paid attention and actually took time to listen to the arguments put forth by both sides and the manner in which they delivered them, I found this show entertaining. Now, today, it is impossible for me not to see the heavy bias that is extant here, it is literally impossible not to see it. People need to pay attention, wise up if you're able and not only listen to what is being said, but also the manner in which it is delivered and the rules followed or not followed during what seems a logical or fair debate, it will reveal far more than the words, concepts and bamboozlement being used in the back n forth...I promise.

  35. Evil666D


    5 uur geleden

    John Stossel? Isn't he the idiot that got bitchslapped half to death once by Dr D David Schultz when he said wrestling was all fake? xD

  36. David FunkDavidF

    David FunkDavidF

    5 uur geleden

    Let’s go to the real issues: *pulls out Nicolas Cage pillow and wolf plate* WHERE DA PARTY AT FAM

  37. David FunkDavidF

    David FunkDavidF

    5 uur geleden

    “Of course, people won’t riot based on whether you click like on my post...or will they?” *riot footage plays*

  38. Minh Nguyen

    Minh Nguyen

    5 uur geleden

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  39. Rayner Sutardja

    Rayner Sutardja

    5 uur geleden

    Okay, this isn’t racist, but... Republicans.

  40. Ngo Ban Mai

    Ngo Ban Mai

    6 uur geleden

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  41. sixpackbootsie


    6 uur geleden

    Our country the Philippines has borrowed a lot of money due to the pandemic, but we don't know where they are spending it because they've disclosed any activities to the public, we don't feel or see the impact on our debt which is concerning.

  42. Glenn Janot

    Glenn Janot

    7 uur geleden

    You could say that debt becomes too much when the interest payments on it prevent any type of discretionary spending

  43. Krishna Bharadwaj

    Krishna Bharadwaj

    7 uur geleden

    LOL John, you should be taxed 100%. Then you will knoww what is slaverry.

  44. willariza


    7 uur geleden

    You could be leaning left or right but, at the end, you'll perish under the force of the big simulator. Keynesianism 28 trillion dollar in debt and the minions are lobbying for even more fake money

  45. niduoe stre

    niduoe stre

    7 uur geleden

    OMG, you always lift my mood. Thanks. And your Ted Cruz poem..........perfection.

  46. Idris PendisBey

    Idris PendisBey

    7 uur geleden

    this channel became Democrat propaganda, not objective as its earlier years

  47. Marlene Wulf

    Marlene Wulf

    7 uur geleden

    “This lovable little human rights violation” I’m in TEARS

  48. Aksel Hansen

    Aksel Hansen

    7 uur geleden

    Thank you for the very insightfull Show!

  49. Alamea Banks

    Alamea Banks

    8 uur geleden

    babes, economists are not scientists, they make up theories out of nothing

    • niduoe stre

      niduoe stre

      7 uur geleden

      It’s painfully obvious, this comedian isn’t qualified to speak on economics

  50. Mon M

    Mon M

    8 uur geleden

    This is how you know money is fake

  51. ragingbull alf

    ragingbull alf

    8 uur geleden

    How many times did fux (or any right-wing pundit), mention the "debt clock" during fatso's fiasco?

  52. Luke Fasullo

    Luke Fasullo

    8 uur geleden

    The awesome caterpillar appropriately learn because geometry hemodynamically vanish amid a mixed sidewalk. acid, coordinated texture

  53. Monsieur GLU

    Monsieur GLU

    9 uur geleden

    Japan isn't agree with tipping point : Public debt stood at ¥1.12 quadrillion - 198% of GDP

  54. Joelseph Wagner

    Joelseph Wagner

    9 uur geleden

    Someone described John as a bird and another as their weekly depression dosage. His true identity is Tim Burton's toucan Sam, telling you to follow your nose to lines of depression and misery.

  55. Hawkeye Pierce

    Hawkeye Pierce

    9 uur geleden

    MMT - The Modern Monetary Theory

  56. Alice Vångström

    Alice Vångström

    9 uur geleden

    Jaaaa, I don't think mentioning slavery in itself is racist, but as soon as she prefaces with "this isn't racist" it starts to sound pretty racist to me at least...

  57. Lasse


    9 uur geleden

    Are they off this week? :D

  58. lenny sothern

    lenny sothern

    9 uur geleden

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  59. MD. SOJIB Ahmed

    MD. SOJIB Ahmed

    9 uur geleden

    I hope it's that simple😄



    9 uur geleden

    Historically speaking it is almost always the case that US government debt increases when Republicans are in power, and the US government debt shrinks when Democrats are in power. However it seems the ones constantly complaining about the growing debt are always Republican politicians. To me this is a very curious phenomenon.

  61. Buddy B

    Buddy B

    10 uur geleden

    This guy is terrible.

  62. Arnold Kim

    Arnold Kim

    10 uur geleden

    The national debt number was put for one purpose, to make people fear. We live in $21 trillion dollar economy, That has doubled in 20 years (year 2000 GDP was $10 trillion). And it is position to double in 10 years, That's $20 trillion. That's more than enough to cover the national debt. In fact, even if the feds gave out $100,000 for every single person in the country, it would not cause a hyper inflation. The establishment want to scare you with these big number but when the time comes (it seem every 10 years) for another Wall street bailout of trillions of dollars, they wont even blink. When they say they don't have the money, they mean they just don't have the money for you.

  63. Redjetsen


    10 uur geleden

    Mr Oliver what if they charged you for your show... reverse work...negative your show...that would be like the national debt.

  64. Michelle Harrison

    Michelle Harrison

    10 uur geleden

    It’s painfully obvious, this comedian isn’t qualified to speak on economics

  65. Sufian Kazi

    Sufian Kazi

    10 uur geleden

    🎩 ..... 🌹 ...... ☭ 🤑 🤝 ✊ ⬇️ ⬇️ ➡️ ...... 👑 ࿕ .....⬅️ 🤑 ✋ If Americans don't understand this then China won....

  66. Caleb Correa

    Caleb Correa

    10 uur geleden

    Excuse me but I am a Gen Z and here is what I am going to say to Republicans, The National debt is not going to effect young people at all, now our entire planet being messed up by climate change and hundreds of million losing their homes from climate problems will

  67. Love Animals-01

    Love Animals-01

    10 uur geleden

    There are millions of tax-paying, masters degree holding residents in USA who work for US firms who are stuck in a Green Card queue for OVER A DECADE. If the govt. just removed these useless backlogs and let educated people open up more businesses, our deficits would go down, by a lot. Common sense.

  68. Marston Gould

    Marston Gould

    11 uur geleden

    The national debt is a stupid measure. Does anyone look at a balance sheet of a company and go, wow, this company must be terrible, it has debt? Amazon has 227 Billion in liabilities. So what? That isn't how you measure the value of something - you look the NET value. So to that 227B, Amazon has $331B in Assets. Well guess what, the national wealth of the entire US is approaching $300 Trillion. Yeah, that's right. $300 Trillion. Here's few other things to think about, the largest holder of US debt is.....Americans who depend on its steady, predictable payments. Yes, other nations like China, Japan and the UK also own substantial portions of the US debt - and this is a GOOD thing. If you were China and were owed $2T, how likely would you be to go blow it up? That would be like you going out and buying a brand new car, paying cash for it, sticking a rag in the gas tank and lighting a match. Kind of stupid eh? And while it is true that the national debt can have an inflationary effect, by far the greatest driver of inflation is none other than Adam Smith's supply and demand relationship. As we've increased inequality in this country, the demand by many Americans for new things (either by investing in a bank and expecting a return. or by consumptions - the largest driver of GDP) decreases. So if you really wanted to reduce the national debt, you'd need to have more tax payers paying more tax - by guess what - earning more money - by how? reducing inequality. Its pretty simply math.

  69. Janssen W

    Janssen W

    11 uur geleden

    John Oliver I very much enjoy your show. However, we do know why interest rates are at all-time lows. There are many studies that talk about this. Part of the reason is central bank monetary policy "race to the bottom" for governments lower their key short term government rates to make their currency cheaper thereby making their exports more competitive. Another is market segmentation theory - certain investor are mandate to only high-grade sovereign debt as part of their investment policy. Nominal interest rates, i.e. the rates you see on the Wall Street Journal, is just the sum of real interest rates and inflation expectations. When inflation expectations are negative (or deflative), then people believe that global growth rates are low. Finally, another reason i demographic. With the baby boomer generation retiring, labor force participation is near 50 year lows.When the economy is not at "full capacity", inflation expectation can be near zero or negative influencing nominal interest rates.

  70. Mark Easley

    Mark Easley

    11 uur geleden

    Every sentence said about GW Bush is incorrect. He cut taxes because that was part of the campaign. He didn't launch the war on terror, we got attacked! Like 9/11 has no significance? Please tell me the alternate plan that doesn't involve a pissed off America using our armed forces to mess someone's day up? Guess what... that costs money, so how about not kill 3,000 americans in a single day? That all aside, the Dems are the ones who tacked on massive spending to compromise for funding the the wars. They are still ALWAYS to blame for the deficit. This is revisionist history to describe the Bush era that way in a piffy, inaccurate sentence as if that was not a tumultuous two terms.

  71. Shrugs Alltheshrugs

    Shrugs Alltheshrugs

    11 uur geleden

    It's wild how many problems would be solved if billionaires and corporations paid taxes.

  72. Dealsx Steals

    Dealsx Steals

    11 uur geleden

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  73. DuhIdiot


    12 uur geleden

    To spend $28 trillion in 81 years, you'd need to spend $11K per second $657K per minute $39M per hour $946M per day So to spend it in one lifetime by buying new cars non-stop, you'd have to make them really high-end cars if you ever wanted breaks for things like eating or taking a dump, and even then you'd need to become a power-nap ninja.

  74. Alethea B

    Alethea B

    12 uur geleden

    Hearing the Senator from Louisiana’s voice makes me want to chew my fingers and toes off. And yes, I know his name....I just refuse to say it.

  75. Robert Hagebau

    Robert Hagebau

    12 uur geleden

    John wearing all black because of the death of Prinz Philip leaves me to wonder: - are these episodes recorded way closer to upload than I thought they were (and John Oliver is a true English gentleman even in his US exile) - is John Oliver actually a time traveller - did John Oliver assassinate Prinz Phillip and that's how he knows? Questions people; questions.

  76. Carolina Culp

    Carolina Culp

    12 uur geleden

    Another reason the US doesn’t worry so much about the debt , is when you buy US debt they only have to pay you back in US Dollars, which our government can print until doomsday, because theUS is not like European countries which are tied to the euro and cannot just print money 💰 like we can

    • S Panke

      S Panke

      9 uur geleden

      Actually... only the Fed can print money... like the ECB in the Euro zone... but the point is both institutions will print money as long a the inflation isn't too high. So the US government is in the same position as EU countries.... more or less

  77. Drew


    12 uur geleden

    ...... Did John die and was cremated last week, and we're watching a clone do Last Week Tonight? ..... Is that what that death date on the urn was telling us?

  78. Hellen Maryann

    Hellen Maryann

    13 uur geleden

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    • Love Animals-01

      Love Animals-01

      10 uur geleden

      There are millions of tax-paying, masters degree holding residents in USA who work for US firms who are stuck in a Green Card queue for OVER A DECADE. If the govt. just removed these useless backlogs and let educated people open up more businesses, our deficits would go down, by a lot. Common sense.

    • Jefferson Jennifer

      Jefferson Jennifer

      11 uur geleden

      I am now a creditor not debtor anymore

    • George Stella

      George Stella

      11 uur geleden

      I used to take loan from the bank for survive before but after trading with Mrs Bambi she changed my financial for good

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      Phillip Michelle

      11 uur geleden

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      Jefferson Paul

      11 uur geleden

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  79. Tactical Fallout

    Tactical Fallout

    13 uur geleden

    Remind me why the Federal reserve, Debt based currency, and fractional reserve banking isn't the problem here?

  80. nakedcapitalist


    13 uur geleden

    The national debt is so large that just paying the interest on the debt cost $344 billion in 2020 and that’s WITH interest rates being at record lows. And John Oliver has you fools applauding it. It’s amazing. You deserve what’s coming to you.

  81. a person

    a person

    13 uur geleden

    Is this video seriously pro-debt?

  82. अर्जुन शर्मा

    अर्जुन शर्मा

    13 uur geleden

    Debt is debt... don't put weight on future generation.

  83. EzraMF


    13 uur geleden

    So you’re blaming Obama’s lack of spending on Republicans? Stop being misleading. Obama actually bailed out the banks and let ordinary people lose their homes. Stop being a vote blue no matter who Queen.

  84. Macroscopic Solutions, LLC

    Macroscopic Solutions, LLC

    13 uur geleden

    Damn, a few years ago I appreciated your content. Now, you just ramble, cry and show no evidence to support your arguments anymore. “I don’t know.” As the years go by, your just another pessimist that has nothing positive to say about anything.

  85. Robert Manke

    Robert Manke

    13 uur geleden

    as usual, you're right J.O. PLEASE HAVE THE COURAGE TO SEE THIS VID FROM THE SCIENTISTS I must share this to you: I urge you to see this. You need to be ready. We are about to experience a species event Dr. Louis Pasteur invented the vaccine. He also invented the hypodermic needle to give it with. this thing here? this is not a vaccine like he made. His vaccine sensitized the white blood cell system to hunt and kill enemies. This thing here? this is the Jab. It GMOs every cell in your body and you better look at this video telling you what comes of that Disaster to you.

  86. Leo Cieri

    Leo Cieri

    14 uur geleden

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  87. ArchetypeApollo


    14 uur geleden

    I remember when John Oliver was funny. Too much politics and not enough jokes. Also Bill Clinton, a democrat, balanced the budget, so it’s not a right or left issue to want to balance the budget. Just a political call to the fiscally responsible people. Whether the politician follows thru is an entirely different matter

  88. Robert Mathews

    Robert Mathews

    14 uur geleden

    This video put a smile on my face

  89. Tom Krol

    Tom Krol

    14 uur geleden

    Debt can absolutely be the downfall of a country. The argument of debt in exchange for value is not including the most important metric: TIME. Companies that start in debt and never become profitable, ALL go out of business. You are forgetting time in your equation. crisis. To even hint at the fact that we can just print more money is both irresponsible and reckless. Almost every country that has adopted that strategy has experienced catastrophic consequences. Republicans give the money to the rich and democrats give the money to the poor and the rich (both tend to ignore the middle class). But it doesn't matter who gets the money, not one of the groups of recipients provide enough value in exchange for the money to ever pay off this debt.

  90. Fredrik O. Zachrisson

    Fredrik O. Zachrisson

    14 uur geleden

    No worries man. Just keep spending people

  91. Joseph


    14 uur geleden

    If you watch this show for the jokes and hyperbole you are ok. If you watch this show for a serious discussion on the issue of the national debt you will be terribly misinformed. How did he do a 22min piece on the national debt and not once mention the Fed?

    • Joseph


      3 uur geleden

      @L D I can wait to tell you I told you so. :)

    • L D

      L D

      13 uur geleden

      Gee, Joe, I am sorry that you didn't find Oliver's comedic infotainment more enlightening. I guess one might assume that you might have done some research of your own. For what it's worth, Oliver did say that we own most of our own debt--(and much of it is owed to the Fed, Social Security, OMB (retirees), the Armed Forces Retirement Funds Private Mutual Funds, Medicare, etc.). As long as we can meet our obligations such as interest payments and paying out benefits, we will remain fiscally sound. Our bigger problem is cutting taxes needed to maintain our mandatory spending while having enough funds to pay for discretionary spending such as the military. Speaking of cutting taxes, Oliver did criticize the Republicans for cutting taxes in 2018 which increased the deficit from around 0.5 trillion to over one trillion. Yes, we had to spend two trillion more last year to keep our economy from completely collapsing.... If you want to balance the budget and perhaps pay down the National Debt a bit. You'd have to look at what we were doing in the 1960s and in the late-1990s--and no--I'm not taking about LSD... I'm sorry he didn't break in down more for you in that 22 minute segment. Maybe next time...

  92. Darrien Colbert

    Darrien Colbert

    14 uur geleden

    Further to add if the GOP holds cutting taxes so near and dear to their core how do they expect to pay for anything besides cutting the shit we as average citizens actually need; like healthcare, social security, education, etc...? Meanwhile spending at least double on defense MORE than the next closest competitor and atleast 10x as much as everyone else is somehow not enough.

    • L D

      L D

      13 uur geleden on...

  93. Darrien Colbert

    Darrien Colbert

    14 uur geleden

    His bit on Reagan & co highlights one of the biggest misconceptions in our modern political landscape: That GOP presidents and majorities are better for the economy. Idk how this narrative took shape and hold but any recent measurements from 1980 (which marks the rise of Reagan & his policies, which for whatever reason is still seen as an economic standard bearer to the right) on up has shown Democratic presidents have had better track records.

  94. Donald Williams

    Donald Williams

    14 uur geleden

    Lets Sale Florida and Texas to anyone who wound want the piece of crap kick in the crouch States , Florida is under water (Sea rise) and Texas is out of Oil , Depended ON PIPE LINES Remember Deep Water Horizon that was a Texas non union Debacle !!!

  95. 황현지


    14 uur geleden

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  96. Jay Mills

    Jay Mills

    15 uur geleden

    Amazing and accurate

  97. Lesly Suzelhomme

    Lesly Suzelhomme

    15 uur geleden

    Very informative I do like the whole presentation Sir Oliver.

  98. 7Gtech **

    7Gtech **

    15 uur geleden

    This guy is desilusional believing that debt will not affect the US. Well it is through inflation the US dollar is losing value and it will continue to do so. Other countries are hip to this careless way of printing money out of thin air believing that it doesn't have consequences. Many countries are bypassing the dollar in favor of other currencies that's a sign that they are turning their backs on the dollar buying bonds somewhere else and investing in other countries mostly China.

    • 7Gtech **

      7Gtech **

      6 uur geleden

      @L D The US is the country with poor favorable ratings since they bomb and invade many countries. History will repeat itself with the US just like it did with England, Portugal the Dutch, Turkish, Romans, Greeks they ascended then descended. China will become the number one economy worldwide within a couple of years that's why you see hundreds of American companies doing business in that country. Most multinationals from different countries are there as well since China will become the biggest market to make big money.

    • L D

      L D

      13 uur geleden

      Really? Do you really think companies and countries trust China more than the USA? China has a well-earned poor favorability rating worldwide. Very few democratic countries like China's foreign and domestic policies.

  99. eric tomasek

    eric tomasek

    15 uur geleden

    This discussion is a bi-partisan method of keeping everyone's eyes on the national deficit while money printed is loaned to the poor and then paid out to the pockets of the rich. Also, mild dishonesty here, becuase the bush jr and obama wrecks were both also bi-partisan. But I don't expect honesty when discussing money, so i'm ok with that.

  100. Braunstein Freres

    Braunstein Freres

    15 uur geleden

    This was like the last thing that my self and others in my family thought the republicans were good for, I guess that's out the window now too, or always was. Damn I thought we can at least have one nice thing to say about them lol