Vice President Biden mistakenly claimed Americans own 85% of U.S. Treasury securities during his visit to China. Americans own 54% of the U.S. public debt — that is, the amount of debt held by the public. They own 69% of the total debt, which includes money the U.S. government owes itself.
At several stops in China, Vice President Biden sought to reassure the Chinese that their investments in U.S. treasuries are safe. Biden’s reassurances — including his mistaken claim about how much of the Treasuries are owned by Americans — had been widely reported in the news media.
Read more by Eugene Kiely, Factcheck.org, in USA Today, 8/23/2011
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