But even this is a fool’s paradise; the president (played by John Ritter) has kept the economy afloat by borrowing heavily from an ultra-rich lender who decides he wants his money back. To stave off foreclosure, the USA ends up putting on a telethon to try to save itself; as you can imagine the hijinks that follow are both zany and madcap. Appearances by Meat Loaf, Harvey Korman, and Jay Leno.
But back up: Who’s the lender who calls in the debt? No, it’s not China. It’s Sam Birdwater, leader of an Indian cartel that has grown staggeringly rich off its cash cow, an international conglomerate that has mushroomed from what was once a modest shoe company called Nike. Yes, in this parallel universe, it’s the Indians who extract poetic justice, threatening to reclaim the country over $400 billion (a lot of money in 1978, apparently).
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.