"We now import around 96 percent of our clothing. What other nation can afford to dismantle its manufacturing base and export high-paying middle-class jobs overseas to lesser, cheaper foreign labor markets and then buy back the goods those poorer people provide us? And energy? Why, we Americans have money to burn. We spend $15-20 billion each and every month to import fuel for our cars, trucks, office buildings and few remaining factories and plants.
And to pay for this we have some fairly large foreign debt, although it’s hard to say precisely what that debt is because we have different ways of keeping track of it. According to Dobbs, "our national debts and commitments actually stand at an incredible $49 trillion. But let’s just keep that little number amongst ourselves. The federal government uses a quaint accounting system that would be illegal for any large enterprise in America." [Read article]