In the past presidential debate, Republican challenger Mitt Romney made his now infamous comment regarding Big Bird by stating he would end subsidies for the Public Broadcasting Service because he's "not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for." This was a curious comment coming from a man who has made a vast fortune using the money of others to feather his own nest.
There are many government programs for which a small investment up front can yield big benefits downstream. PBS and National Public Radio, for example, offer wonderful education and news programs that benefit the youngest to the oldest of our citizens. Using cheap yuan borrowed from China to maintain U.S. education programs that will be paid back many times over in the increased economic health and industrial vitality of our country seems a very cheap price to pay.
Other government programs that Romney could well cancel due to their perceived dependence upon Chinese loans are those of basic energy, biological and medical research. The budget of, for example, the National Institutes of Health, is just over $30 billion a year, money which could easily be construed as part of our $1.1 trillion deficit and thus paid for by borrowing from China. About 80 percent of NIH money is distributed to researchers at universities, medical schools and other research institutions to fund basic biomedical research.