September 1st, 2012
10:39 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Grover Norquist, the U.S. deficit and shooting for the stars

On Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET:

Is a tax lobbyist the most powerful man in America? Fareed quizzes Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, on how to fix America's deficit. And there's the question of who creates jobs: is it the 1 percent, or the rest? Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and former Bain Capital partner Ed Conard engage in a vigorous debate.

Plus, Fareed will also be hearing the case for space as Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains why it is important to shoot for the stars, literally.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Mashed Potato Bulletin

    This ought to interesting. Hopfully Fareed will call norquist out on his entire platform of no taxes.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • Richard Gordon

      I thought the interview with Grover Norquist was excellent. Fareed really put Norquist's feet to the fire and you could watch him squeam. The whole debate by Norquist and the Repbulcians about taxes in the United States is disingenuous. Basically, there are two choices. Cut EVERYTHING in the way of services. Cut Medicare, Cut Social Security, Cut Services, Cut the Military to balance the budget. Do that and you would drive the United States into a depression. Moreover, you would NOT resolve the problem, it would just create a greater deficit. The other option is to raise taxes to pay for the programs that Americans want. Want a gigantic sophisticated Military? Pay me! Want social security! Pay me! Want comprehensive medical coverage? Pay me! Want a properly functioning infrastructure? Pay me!
      Only in the deluded fantasy pedaled by Republican Extremists like Grover Norquist are you going to find a world where you get something for nothing. But in fact, Norquist is not even promising this. All he is saying is that ordinary America do not deserve this. Why? Because we have to eliminate taxes for the very wealthiest Americans. Norquist and the Tea Party are conning the American people into believing that you can have both. A fully developed economy? American's who are gullible enough to believe this will wake up one day to discover they have created an economy like Zimbabwe?

      If America wants to compete in the 21 Century they have to invest in their people, their education system, their infrastructure. China is today laying the foundation for becoming the dominant economy in 15 to 20 years. Meanwhile the Republican Party extremists are sabotaging America's future by turning America into a facist dictatorship bought and paid for by the top 1%. WAKE UP AMERICA!

      September 2, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • Auntycon

        AMEN ..How can we make the majority hear this with both ears, is the question.

        September 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Malcolm

        Fully Agree

        September 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • Radiolizner

        I hope the dems replay this interview often. Well said RG!

        September 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • TheFactIs

        The fact is: the issue never should be cut or increase tax, it is the issue about how to spend the tax money efficiently and effectively. Promoting the efficiency, avoiding the waste, ensure the economic growth and government spending transparency are the keys!

        September 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Viv Cox

        The interview with the CEO of Bain Capital was self-evident. He said moral issues aside. U.S. citizens must realize this is not a Christian nation; it is an amoral nation. The government is amoral; corporations are amoral and we as a people are amoral, too. Quit pretending we are some moral, ethical, religious (Christian values) society and face facts. The CEO is correct. Moral issues are not relevant as the other business man tried to argue. Stop with the religious pontifications and fact reality. Religiousity is merely a smoke screen.
        Yes, I am a Christian, but I see facts as they are.
        Thank you, Fareed Zakaria for the show; I DVR it every Sunday.

        September 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • batjones

      Grow the economy by 7% – Does Grover Norquist receive a 7% annual pay raise from his non-profit? What are the average workers to do when the cost of living rises by 7% to meet the 7% growth in the economy, but they do not receive a 7% pay raise.

      September 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • TheFactIs

      The fact is: the issue never should be cut or increase tax, it is issue about how to spend the tax money efficiently and effectively. Promoting the efficiency, avoiding the waste, ensure the economic growth and transparency are the keys!

      September 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  2. WalTeRvMurrAY

    The Fiscal Cake!

    You heard me right and I am not misquoting the latest Washington buzzword “fiscal cliff”. I really do mean the fiscal cake.

    You see, when I was just a lad my Mom would say to me “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. I would say to myself (in those days saying it to her would have meant an unscheduled dental visit to fix a loose tooth or two, if you know what I mean!) So I would say to myself “what the heck is she talking about, these old people are losing it and fast!”

    But now some 35 years or so later, I want to say to the American people, “don’t be fooled by the election rhetoric, you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. And just like I queried the sanity of my Mom, you are probably wondering “what the heck is this crazy guy talking about”.

    Well here is the “rubber meets the road” fact about the American economy: You can’t reduce the deficit without raising taxes and/or major spending cuts. So when Romney says to you “we will cut the deficit and we will not increase taxes”, I say “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”.

    And this brings me to the fiscal cliff. In 2013 the Bush tax cuts are set to expire and an automatic $1 trillion in spending cuts is set to kick in. So we are facing the possibility of higher taxes and less government services. Paying more for less. It is not a pretty picture.

    Now if Congress comes up with a sensible debt reduction plan the higher taxes and trillion dollar spending cuts will not kick in. At least that’s the plan.

    But here is a question for the “geniuses” who came up with that plan: “what other sensible way can Congress reduce the debt that does not require more revenue, i.e. taxes, and/or less spending, i.e. spending cuts? So in effect, the fiscal cliff can only be avoided by a fiscal cliff.

    So America, the choice is clear: either we eat the cake and don’t have it or we don’t eat the cake and have it. Complicated? OK, well let me put it this way: If we want to cut the deficit and “balance” the budget we are going to need more revenue, which means higher taxes and/or cut spending which would mean less government services.

    Or we can say “to heck with the deficit and balancing the budget” and we can keep taxes low and maintain a reasonably unchanged level of government services.

    Any candidate, Obama or Romney, who tells you otherwise is trying to eat the fiscal cake and have it too.

    And according to my Mom, you just can’t do that! I trust my Mom more than I trust Obama or Romney.

    When it comes to common sense, cakes and fiscal responsibility, Who do you Trust? Politicians? Or Mom?

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, the fiscal cliff while reducing the deficit would create an economic slowdown by shrinking GDP by approximately 0.50% and increasing unemployment to 9%. This spells RECESSION.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • rose macaskie

      WalTeRvMurray, You, near the end of your bit, said, "or we can say to heck with the deficit and balancing the buget and we can keep taxes low and maintain a reasonalbly unchanged level of government", and you suggest that that would not be right, because you can"t have your cake and eat it too but that is exactly what the best economic theories on crisis say you have to do, it is like driving into a skid, it seems crazy but it is what works. Maynard Keynes says you have to keep taxes low and spend in a crisis, a crisis is no time to go paying back debt, it is time to spend to get out of the crisis, like it might be a good idea to spend on a bad district to make it into a good one, even to borrow to do so and to pay that back when things had got better and you were strong enough to the money pay back, it wont help our children much if they are still in a crisis as well as having to pay back the debt.
      You must not believe that Maynard Keynes thought you should always spend, he would have hated all the spending that went on before the crisis. He says you should save when things are going well but in a crisis you are sort of obliged by the situation to spend, not to raise taxes and do government spending. Government spending is sort of putting money into high street. Paying out the banks is putting it into Wall Street but services put the money into the hands of people with a more normal wealth level, like teachers and police men and builders.
      Not raising taxes and more or less keeping the services is what Obama has managed to do, in the case of not raising taxes he can pretend he bowed to Republican pressure, so that people who are afraid of drastic measures dont say he is eating his cake and having it too, but he did exactly that, a bit less than he might have liked to have done and doing so has kept America from going the way Europe has been going, though Ed Conard might like to pretend that Europes problems are due to it not having the entrepreneurship America has and the good pay for the middle class, as he says about Thailands i think it was, others think that Europes problems have to do with not spending more in a crisis. Eight percent unemployment is considered normal in Spain it is what we have when things are normal, now we are into the twenty percent and more, unemployment, so things are going pretty well in North America. rose macaskie madrid.

      September 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  3. Victor

    Grover Norquist should not be given an opportunity to spread his anti-democractic hate on CNN. CNN needs to drop the fair and balanced act. For too long all that viewers see on CNN is equivocating any Conservative can come on and say anything an nothing is challenged. A lie is a lie and when a quest tells a lie the moderator should challenge the quest. Instead viewers are left with the impression that a view based on a lie is a legitimate view. Fact based interviews should be the rule and not the exception.

    September 2, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  4. Christine

    Just tuned into GPS – Isn't this a repeat of an earlier show?

    September 2, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • Richard Gordon

      Yes you are right, but I am thrilled to have GPS back. I tuned in for a couple of weeks and found that GPS was off the air. I was REALLY disappointed.

      September 2, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
  5. Chenthil

    Apple has plenty of stores in Thailand...and Apple products are very popular in Thailand.

    September 2, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  6. Armin Sachse

    Disappearing middle class

    Franchises or Associations such as Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Canadian Tire etc create middle class. When a Staples, Home depot. Costco, Walmart opens in a neighbourhood, the middle class store owners disappear. The become the department managers who sell goods made in China, with little or no decision making capability or entrepreneurial wiggle room.
    Armin

    September 2, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • enkelin

      Amen. When Staples opened in my town, the two office supply companies what were family owned closed. All teh bos stores do is take average jobs and turn them into minimum wage jobs and destroy ownership.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  7. Hans Hageman

    Does CNN intend to update the GPS podcast? There hasn't been a new episode sine August 6.

    September 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  8. Auntycon

    First of all: Welcome back Fareed........You were missed. Good drill on Grover Norquist. Who does he think he is? What a bunch of bull..

    September 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  9. Les F.

    I think Fareed is an intellectual powerhouse, but I have to take issue with the last sentence of his "My Take" this morning. He ended his survey of Africa by stating that Africans are better off today than "ever before." Not to split hairs or anything, but I think it would have been more accurate to say that Africans are better off today than they have been in the past two centuries or so. My point is that Africans were probably doing just fine before the British and Americans invaded their continent and hauled as many able-bodied men and women across the Atlantic and into a life of slavery. Of course, we'll never know how the ordinary African would be doing today had their collective history been different. And that's MY take.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  10. Jeff D.

    Was today's show just a repeat of segments from previous shows? It seems that I had seen the Norquist interview, the Tyson interview and the debate between the Bain banker and the venture capitalist before. BTW–Norquist is not the most powerful person in US.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  11. Jack Heinsius

    Since the" Norquist pledgers" are relieved of one of the essential duties of a lawmaker i.e exercising independent fiscal judgment, shouldn't they reduce their compensation as a spending cut and perhaps donate it to reduce the national debt?

    Usual great show, Sunday morning complete again. jack

    September 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • rose macaskie

      If they let someone swear themselves out of their duties, which is what they have done, they should retire. rose macaskie madrid.

      September 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  12. Kathyb

    Grover Norquist is a crook...he was a major player in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

    September 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  13. David F Pawlowski

    The Tyson interview is just a rehash of space boosterism. The US is bankrupt and is now about to engage in
    running the mint printing press part three. If the Hubble telescope debacle that Tyson smoothed over is any indication NASA routinely spends too much money fixing problems of its own making. In the case of the Hubble it was the screw up in the calculations to make the mirror. Invoking image analysis methods for cancer is typical fo the folks who justify NASA based on its accomplishments like the million dollar pen that can write upside down while the Russians gave their cosmonauts pencils to write in space. As for the Chinese, it's all about the money. They want to go to moon for Helium-3 and rare earth elements. As for Mars, short of finding the "alien space pyramids" the only thing found will be primitive anerobic life. The lucky winner may claim Mars is Red, but in the end they get a dead on arrival world and all the cosmic radiation a cancer cell can use. If Tyson really wants to do something beyond shill for NASA he should start looking at the coming Betelgeuse supernova and how it will greatly and negatively affect the earth and its occupants. 'nuf said.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  14. TheFactIs

    A debate is just about tax cut or increase will lead us to nowhere. It is the reason behind tax cut or increase that make differences. The tax increase supporter will list a number of programs that are worth to get more tax money; the tax cut supporters will list a number of programs that are not worth to put more money into; Therefore both sides can be right or wrong depend on what programs that we are talking about. In order to find truth: we need to dig into the programs and how those programs are run to determine why we need to cut or increase tax for them. A same income and size family can come out completely different results if they run the family with different value and ways. Is that simple! So focusing on how to spend money efficiently are core of this debate!

    September 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  15. Dr. Albert Fish

    Doesn't it seem a little disingenuous to suspend Mr. Zakaria for plagiarism and then when the show returns it's a repeat? Either have a current show or fire him.

    September 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  16. Hayes

    I enjoy Fareed because he is not normally an attack interviewer but rather lets his guests express their opinions while he asks probing questions, however, in his interview with Norquist, I felt he reversed himself and became the attack journalist who was expressing his opinions rather than asking questions. I would have appreciated hearing more of what Norquist had to say and less of Fareed's opinions. It seems to me that the Democrats want to borrow money to increase spending and the Republicans want to borrow money to reduce taxes. Why not cut spending across the board and leave taxes where they are or just freeze spending for 5-10 years so that everyone knows what they will have and special interests groups are de-fanged?

    September 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  17. Maria

    Mr. Zakaria, please don't ever leave me again. This is not an emotinal attachment. This is an intellectual attachment.
    I just feel good and inform after watching your show

    September 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  18. Larry

    We've missed you Fareed, welcome back! Always find your program informative and interesting. Your insights always refreshing and to the point. Keep up the great work.

    September 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  19. Proactive

    This interview was very revealing and should be replayed over and over again so the American Public can learn the simple truth. It is not rocket science nor is it that complicatad to understand. Customers create demand and jobs and if there is no demand, there will be no jobs/job creation. That is a simple fact. Yes, incentives should be created for SMEs and Entrepreneurs so they can start businesses and grow but there has to be the correct level & effective regulations in place or else we will continue to have the banking crisis that we are faced with again.

    September 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  20. Norm Winn

    My dad used to have a saying about speeches and politicians (and by extension, their minions): you get a point here and a point there with a lot of bull in between. What I find so disingenuous about the current debate over the pace of our economic recovery – unemployment, real estate prices, consumer spending, the fiscal cliff, fed policy – is the utter failure of those seeking elective office to acknowledge the structural differences between the current and prior recessions, and how their plan better addresses said differences.

    This recession was caused by a financial crisis, in this case the collapse of the global credit market tied to the devaluation of real estate. Recessions caused by a financial crisis can reduce real GDP by as much as 5% and take 2-3 times as long for recovery to take hold. Real estate prices can remain depressed for as long as 5-10 years. The last such event in our history was the Great Depression.

    The bottom line is there isn’t a quick or painless fix. Any candidate running for elective office that suggests otherwise either truly doesn’t grasp the realities of the situation or they are pandering for sake of political expediency. I for one would like to see an honest acknowledgement of what went wrong and why, and specifics on what can or can’t be done going forward, accompanied by informed debate over the risks and rewards to said actions. I credit the American voter with having enough intelligence to separate fact from fantasy and make informed choices. Unfortunately, if the current congress is any indicator, I’m not sure either party is proffering enough candidates with sufficient intellectual curiosity, integrity, vision and leadership to make any real difference.

    September 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • rose macaskie

      Norm Wimm, it was not a problem in real estate that caused the crisis we are having, it was a bubble in the bonds market that caaused the problem in housing and everywhere else. Wall Street and their like had started dealing in peoples promise to pay back debt and the high interest rate they pay on money borrowed, so that if I for instance, had wanted to invest money in those years, I might have been offered a bit of debt to invest in and I might then have received the nice interest rates those who borrow money pay one the borowed money.
      It used to be the banks and such that grew fat on the money that people pay out for borrowing, the interest they pay the banks for money borrowed but several people managed to find a way to open up this sort of investment to the general public and sell them shares in debt and this turned out to be so lucrative for people who worked in the financial world, they got a cut if they could provide debt to those who wanted to invest in it, that they went crazy trying to find more people to take out debt, more people to buy bigger house for instance or lending more money on credit cards, student loans, you name it. What no one realised is that they thought debt was a sure deal because they had just supposed that those who lent money out would not go crazy and lend to insolvent people or to crazy projects but that is what happened and debt turned out to be a very bad investment all of a sudden, unless they coud make all the debtors pay out, could stop them going bankrupt they wont let Greece go bankrupt, they stood to loose all their money.
      Financiers did crazy lending so massively that they brought down the whole of the richer part of the world. It seems so odd that all financiers shoud have gone crazy all at once and on a enormouse scale and lent more than they should, that it is hard to believe but a good idea took a bad path and that is what happened. Read Michel Lewis's book, The Big Short. or All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera or just read about CDOs in Wikipedia to confirm what I say.
      This understanding of the situatio,n understanding that it was a bounds bubble that was behind everything and that housing was just one of the consequences, makes Wall Street so much guiltier and clears High Street a lot, puts things in their place.and also allows us to see that it is crazy spending that is bad, not spending per sé. rose macaskie madrid.

      September 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  21. Brian Larson

    Whats he doing back on the air....come on FIRE HIM

    September 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  22. Tom M.

    In August of 2006, Bernard Lewis wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argueing that August 22, 2006 could be the day that Iran destroys Israel (and the whole world “if necessary”) with its nuclear weapons (that it still doesn’t have).

    So why would Fareed have a crank like that on.

    Then he had Edward Conard on, another crank, only this time in the economics field. As Steven Pearlstein wrote in the WashPost, Conard makes the intriguing argument that there never was a credit bubble or a housing bubble, that large and persistent trade deficits are a sign of economic strength, that booms and busts are a good thing, and that what we really need is more income inequality, not less.

    Not a good show.

    September 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • rose macaskie

      Is Conard a crank or is he just really good at propoganda. He spouted all those arguements that sounded bad to me but I was listening carefully and have spent a lot of time recently thinking about such things, I am sure that they will convince a lot of people who get taken in by a smart suit and what sounds like cleverness and who fail to see that people who sound like experts and look like serious people might be very unscruplous lot, who argue for what will be good for them at the expense of others, at the expense of their country and everything that should be holy. After all, part of looking serious and besuited is that you lalso look responsible part of the ruling class who look after things for others. The real pirates dress in suits, if you want to have a sensible understanding of the adult world you do better to study the Pirates of the Caribean Sea than to listen to any sermons, most grown ups are about as serious about the well being of others as pirates are. Rose macaskie madrid.

      September 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  23. V. Wu

    Former Bain Capital partner Ed Conard said that there were no Apple stores in Thailand. Of course there are. Please tell him to check his facts. Also much of what he says is rubbish and self-serving. It's good to hear both sides to an issue, but can we have an intelligent conversation – not a constant bashing of the other side, while being self-righteous and demonstrating a maniac clinging to his own narrow thinking.

    September 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  24. Ronald Maas

    I have been trying to connect to a link to watch the Fareed Zakaria GPS show that was run today, September 2, 2012, and have been unable to connect. Is there some reason that the link has been shut down.

    Ron Maas

    September 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  25. truthseeker

    SorryI had topick a story so that I could write my blog and this one appeared 1st.

    Shame on the Western Media and especially CNN. One of the oldest nations in the world lost a young, dynamic, exceedingly intelligent leaders. His people turned out for his funeral in unpresedented droves to express their utter devastation and the ignorant Western media could only focus on the 1% weakness of a man whose 99% contribution was being prased by the rest of the world. Show me a leader with wings and a halo !

    Should I say SHAME to the supposed "objective" news media producers and presenters who are too stupid to know the meaning of the word !!!!!!!
    I wonder if the CNN staff even knows what I'm talking about ?

    September 3, 2012 at 3:46 am | Reply
  26. truthseeker

    By the way, WORLD as in "world" news, does not mean the middle east, china, syria, egypt.etc.... or any individual coutry whose leader is rich with oil money etc...... either present WORLD NEWS or just change the name of the "show" to something like "sensation du jour", ""sanitized version of realty to appeal and create acceptance my Americans" e.g. showing only the fair skinned people in a country with light and dard skinndr natives and vering the cameras away from the slums and darker skinned peopel in some coutries and doing the reverse in others etc.... think about it. The poor American people have not idea how thar are brain washed. Some of us really do want to see and hear the truth.

    September 3, 2012 at 4:01 am | Reply
  27. Marc

    Have to agree with Fareed (though he took off his journalists had and debated with the guy) that any policy maker whose answer to critique of their policy is that "economic growth will solve it" is proferring a lemon. Keep these republican/libertarian visitors coming Fareed!

    September 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • rose macaskie

      Yeh, I think fareed kept that slippery Grover in cheque, he had the answer to Grover stuff ready and did not let him rumble on till he had bemused us all wit ha string of strange assertations, he let him get in one point at a time and took his time answering each of grovers points so as to make things pretty clear.
      How typical it is of these manipulative guys that they look somehow impaired, Grover kept putting on the face of a small child in this interveiw, such tricks often gets people pandering to them. They are like Draculas daughter in the great "Young Dracula" series who when asked why she is still behaving as if she is ill when she is better, says she wants to take her family off their guard. Grover, in this interveiw, looked as if he was not really up to arguing and that from a person who has convinced an enormous group of supposedly adult people to sign his papers, to promise, like chldren promise in a game, to back up his points of veiw. rose macaskie madrid.

      September 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  28. bindi

    Hang in there Truthseeker, those with the stage who insist on a tunnel visioned approach to the world will wake up to a surprise one day. You are not alone in your frustrations with the media. May God rest the soul of the brave young leader Meles Zenawi ! Our condolences to the Ethiopian people.

    Sorry farid for using your site.

    September 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  29. Larry Merriam

    Grover Norquist is the most divisive force in American politics. Register your opposition to Grover at
    http://www.groverno.com

    September 6, 2012 at 7:16 am | Reply
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