No, America Is Not a Poor Country

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When Donald Trump says America is a loser, apparently he’s dead serious. Judging by some of his answers during his interview with the Washington Post editorial board yesterday, he genuinely thinks we’ve all but slipped into third-world status these days. Here he is on American support for NATO:

NATO was set up at a different time. NATO was set up when we were a richer country. We’re not a rich country. We’re borrowing, we’re borrowing all of this money.

On South Korea:

That’s a wealthy country. They make the ships, they make the televisions, they make the air conditioning. They make tremendous amounts of products….I think that we are not in the position that we used to be. I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we’re a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation.

And on Saudi Arabia:

If you look at Germany, if you look at Saudi Arabia, if you look at Japan, if you look at South Korea — I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?…We pay billions— hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting other countries that are in theory wealthier than we are….I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money. And I say, why?

“We’re a poor country now.” I wonder how many people believe that just because Donald Trump keeps saying it? In case anyone cares, the actual truth is in the chart on the right. There’s not a single country in the world bigger than 10 million people that’s as rich as the US.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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