Has anyone talking about V.P. Biden's gaffe read or listened to the entirety of the answer which included this gaffe? I'm guessing no.
Q Good morning, Mr. President [sic]. And Iím a -- student from the medical school of Sichuan University. But my question is about economy first. And as you know that the China holds about $1 trillion U.S. bonds of treasury bonds. And that much money -- actually the value is uncertain because of the downgrade of U.S. credit rating. You seem to have instilled the confidence of the U.S. financial well-being into young people today because I heard you say that the U.S. economy is really resilient. And -- but words alone cannot ease the mounting concern over the safety of Chinaís assets. So we would like to hear more about what measures youíre going to implement to reduce those deficits and redeem the financial strength of America.Knowing and understanding a policy does not mean you agree with the policy. It's like calling jmervyn a socialist and progressive because he can point out socialist and progressive policies. Bad logic is bad, even if you like calling jmervyn names.THE VICE PRESIDENT: Itís a very good question. One of the multiple rating agencies reduced our rating from AAA to -- plus -- come down one notch. And that was very disturbing and bothersome to us, and we have to deal with is.
We do have a deficit that I was asked by the President to head up a commission to try to deal with that deficit. And we made some significant progress, but not the progress we could have made and will make. The bottom line is we have to deal with two elements of our economy. One is what we call entitlement programs -- long-term commitments to our people in the area of particularly Medicare. That is the safety net we have for people once they reach the age of 65 to be able to be assured that they have health care.
And it is not sustainable without some changes in large part because we had what we call a baby boom, which doesnít sound like much to Chinese -- 40 million people is not a big deal, I know. (Laughter.) But adding 40 million people to those who will benefit from the Medicare -- Medicaid payment -- Medicare payments has put the program in a position where changes have to be made.
Itís 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.
What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. 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 -- Iím not second-guessing -- of one child per family. The result being that youíre in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
Biden was trying to work in "one child policy is bad" without infuriating some listeners who might agree with that policy. But Biden was coy about it. He said the one child policy was bad because of economic reasons. How it causes 1 worker in China to support 3 retirees.
Economics seems to be what the Chinese government listens to the most, so V.P. Biden phrased disagreement with a social policy using economic terms. Choosing ambiguous words allowed those adamantly opposed to the one child policy to infer support for said policy even though Biden said otherwise.