The nations that hold U.S. debt effectively hold the U.S. hostage. For all the bluster about America being the most powerful nation in the world, China, Japan, and the Saudis could end the party tomorrow. Which explains the spectacle of our leaders travelling abroad to assure their creditors that American taxpayers will do as they’re told, that they’ll pay up, and that they’ll be brought to heel. This leads to the spectacle of foreign policy being molded to bring the maximum benefit to the creditor countries. An Empire is controlled by its creditors, not by the citizens who always pick up the tab.