ORLANDO, Fla. - A controversial TV commercial suggesting that Americans may someday "work" for the Chinese will begin airing next week in Central Florida.
The ad is produced by Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group that describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization aimed at eliminating waste, mismanagement and inefficiency in the federal government.
In the commercial, which is set nearly 20 years in the future, a fictional Chinese professor addresses a group of students in Beijing.
"Why do great nations fail?," asks the professor. Behind him, projected photos depict Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and the United States of America.
"They all make the same mistakes," the professor explains, "turning their back on the principles that made them great."
In the TV ad, the professor blames America's demise on stimulus spending, health care changes, government takeovers of private industries and "crushing debt."
"Of course, we owned most of their debt," the Chinese professor says with a laugh, "so now they work for us."
"It's very possible they could own the United States one day. That's very frightening," said John Stockman, who viewed the commercial online.
"When households overspend, they have to cut back and live within their budget, and government should be the same way," said Stockman's wife, Sherry.
Danielle Rivera believes the ad exaggerates the threat.
"I think the commercial made it more serious than it really might be," said Rivera. "It might take it to the extreme to get people to think about it."
Some Asian-American organizations have accused the TV ad of being racist. The ad's producer disagrees, pointing out that the commercial highlights China's current and future economic success.
Copyright 2011 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.