October 20th, 2013
12:41 AM ET

James Baker on the debt ceiling

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary James Baker offers his take on the recent debt ceiling negotiations. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

Well, if I'm wearing my Treasury secretary's hat, which I wore for four years, I would love to see us do away with the requirement for increasing the debt ceiling. But as a taxpayer and as someone who thinks that the greatest threat facing the United States today is this huge ticking debt bomb out there, that has been created by our continuing to spend and borrow without restraint, then I think it's something we pretty much need to keep.

I know you're aware, and your viewers are probably aware of the fact, that when he was a senator from Illinois, President Obama, Senator Obama, voted against increasing the debt ceiling. He wasn't willing to increase it. He was ready to see us go into default.

So this is a political exercise that occurs any time there’s a necessity of raising the debt ceiling.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. vonrock

    So when we can't afford are old stuff and want new stuff new stuff new stuff we exercise ? To out of shape for that.

    No we shouldn't 'manage, whatever the definition that is. it's only money. they'll be more.

    Imagine a country where the government with it's military and it's army of corps from banks to agriculture need every tax dollar they can get to pay for themselves, yesterday, today and much more for tomorrow. stay tuned.

    October 20, 2013 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • ertyerty4563456

      STILL ALIVE.

      AFTER YEARS FOR IRRADIATION CAUTERIZATIONS GENETICAL DAMAGES.

      IN SOME KIND SATELITAL RADIO THERAPHY.

      CAMPAIGN PROTEST SATELITAL TORTURES CONTINUES TO BE KNOWN CASES IN VENEZUELA, SUITS OF TORTURE, SATELLITE SURVEILLANCE, AND ELECTRONIC HARASSMENT V2K.

      THIS IS THE REASON POLITICS CREATE AGENDAS OF DEPOPULACION.

      TO ELIMINATE THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND THERE ARE MANY TECHNOLOGIES USED FOR THESE CRIMES.

      LOOK TEXT WITH ERRORS TO ELIMINATE AQUEYOS COMPRISING MANY TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE USED FOR THESE CRIMES.

      PERFORMS PRECISELY CAMPAIGN FOR THIS.

      PUBLICATIONS MILLION RADIATE WHILE WE HAVE AS IS LIKE WHEN SOME FOOD IN A MICROWAVE.

      WRITE AND JUST MOVE CURSOR.

      OS OPERATING SYSTEMS HAVE THE PROBLEM, WRITE SOMETHING AND EVEN CHANGE TEXT TO PRINT.

      THESE WITH YOUR FRIENDS and suddenly, HAVE FEELINGS OF DREAMS FATIGUE UNCONTROLLABLE.

      SOME CITIZENS LEAVE IN STATES OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS ARE IN MINUTES PER.

      SOLUTIONS.

      SOME SOLUTIONS TO BE RAISED IN PAPERS:

      TO SPEAK DIRECTLY TO POLITICAL ASK THEM TO STOP FOR DAMAGE TO THE VICTIMS OF CRIME SATELLITE .

      QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

      October 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      "Hey, did you hear ? The government was partial closed."
      "Good! Just wait until those clowns are down to wearing barrels like the rest of us!"
      "No you moron, NOT partially CLOTHED." ! Partially CLOSED!"
      "Ohhh ok. Huh? CLOSED ?!? OMG get it open! NOW before we're all DOOMED!!"
      "Relax, they just had a stupid spat. But they've reopened now."
      "Thank goodness, we're saved! What were they fighting about anyhow?"
      "Not too sure...... but I think they agreed to take our barrels."

      October 21, 2013 at 5:56 am | Reply
  2. Louis

    NATO alliance countries are great opportunity for US Corporations and there is still high growth in all segments. Debt ceiling should be well managed and imports form non-NATO countries limited with import quotas.

    October 20, 2013 at 6:12 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Did you notice Louis, that James Baker never mentioned the out of control military spending nor our foreign aid give a ways? The best thing we can do is to pull out of NATO and return to Isolationism and let the NATO countries take the responsibility of fending for themselves. We need to turn our military bases in Germany over to the Czechs, Poles and Hungarians since they were so anxious to join the NATO alliance to man and pay for!

      October 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      "Hey, did you hear ? The government was partial closed."
      "Good! Just wait until those clowns are down to wearing barrels like the rest of us!"
      "No you moron, NOT partially CLOTHED." ! Partially CLOSED!"
      "Ohhh ok. Huh? CLOSED ?!? OMG get it open! NOW before we're all DOOMED!!"
      "Relax, they just had a stupid spat. But they've reopened now."
      "Thank goodness, we're saved! What were they fighting about anyhow?"
      "Not too sure...... but I think they agreed to take our barrels."

      October 21, 2013 at 5:49 am | Reply
  3. Muin

    President was not willing to go into default. He was willing it as leverage to stop the shutdown and it worked.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:10 am | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    The Houston-based law firm Baker Botts, celebrating the first anniversary of its office in Brussels, which is now the "Washington" of the EU. The guest of honour was James A. Baker. He was looking so fit, at 83, that a lawyer asked him for nutrition tips. Baker had come to celebrate the first anniversary of the Brussels office of Baker Botts, a law firm co-founded by his great-grandfather.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
  5. Chris Wyman

    the hippy generation of live free and die hard fcked us all

    October 20, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Please Chris, can you refrain from using that disgusting Tea Party lingo such as that four letter word that starts with an F? It is totally unnecessary here since there are more than enough decent English words that can be utilized in order to make a point. In the second place, the so-called hippy lifestyle back in the 60's, 70's and 80's are but a very small part of the problem, the biggest being the totally unnecessary and excessive military spending that nobody talks about and has been totally swept under the rug!

      October 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  6. Chris

    How can you sit there and let James Baker spout Republican talking points that are all basically distortions and lies and not say anything as far as counterpoint ? why should anyone watch a show like yours ? You are basically validating his dangerous propaganda with your silence. Shame on you

    October 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      "Hey, did you hear ? The government was partial closed."
      "Good! Just wait until those clowns are down to wearing barrels like the rest of us!"
      "No you moron, NOT partially CLOTHED." ! Partially CLOSED!"
      "Ohhh ok. Huh? CLOSED ?!? OMG get it open! NOW before we're all DOOMED!!"
      "Relax, they just had a stupid spat. But they've reopened now."
      "Thank goodness, we're saved! What were they fighting about anyhow?"
      "Not too sure...... but I think they agreed to take our barrels."

      October 21, 2013 at 5:49 am | Reply
  7. DFERTWERT34234

    STILL ALIVE.

    AFTER YEARS FOR IRRADIATION CAUTERIZATIONS GENETICAL DAMAGES.

    IN SOME KIND SATELITAL RADIO THERAPHY.

    CAMPAIGN PROTEST SATELITAL TORTURES CONTINUES TO BE KNOWN CASES IN VENEZUELA, SUITS OF TORTURE, SATELLITE SURVEILLANCE, AND ELECTRONIC HARASSMENT V2K.

    THIS IS THE REASON POLITICS CREATE AGENDAS OF DEPOPULACION.

    TO ELIMINATE THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND THERE ARE MANY TECHNOLOGIES USED FOR THESE CRIMES.

    LOOK TEXT WITH ERRORS TO ELIMINATE AQUEYOS COMPRISING MANY TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE USED FOR THESE CRIMES.

    PERFORMS PRECISELY CAMPAIGN FOR THIS.

    PUBLICATIONS MILLION RADIATE WHILE WE HAVE AS IS LIKE WHEN SOME FOOD IN A MICROWAVE.

    WRITE AND JUST MOVE CURSOR.

    OS OPERATING SYSTEMS HAVE THE PROBLEM, WRITE SOMETHING AND EVEN CHANGE TEXT TO PRINT.

    THESE WITH YOUR FRIENDS and suddenly, HAVE FEELINGS OF DREAMS FATIGUE UNCONTROLLABLE.

    SOME CITIZENS LEAVE IN STATES OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS ARE IN MINUTES PER.

    SOLUTIONS.

    SOME SOLUTIONS TO BE RAISED IN PAPERS:

    TO SPEAK DIRECTLY TO POLITICAL ASK THEM TO STOP FOR DAMAGE TO THE VICTIMS OF CRIME SATELLITE .

    QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

    October 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  8. Carmine

    Listen this guy I am not surprise America is in the Sh..t ... he was the mind of Reagan and Bush (the good one)?? Do Americans know that the crises started from that time?

    October 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • 1zb1

      It didn't start at that time, it was created by them at that time.

      October 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Carmine

        yes, you are right.... thanks

        October 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Phelix Unger

        Actually, this ignominy was started as far back as 1952 by this brainless idiot named George Kennon who helped set our national priorities by putting the military and foreign rulers ahead of the rest of us. Now we're all starting to pay for it! However, Reagan and Bush did exacerbate it to a great extent since 1980!

        October 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  9. 1zb1

    Listening to Baker put his political spin on events given he is one of the chief architects of creating the debt in the first place and making a royal mess of things made me sick. It was like listening to Cruz giving a lecture on the art of compromise and common sense.

    Watching Fareed basically giving Baker a free ride was very disappointing to say the least.

    The message of the Republican Party, whether its mainstream Republicans like Baker or the wingnut Tparty side is clear: the mainstream is willing to lie their way to power over who they are while the Tparty is trying to scream its way to power. The only difference is in tactics but the goal of destroying a fair, just and functioning government is the same for both and both are built on a politic of hate, hypocrisy, and exploitation.

    October 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  10. bluevets

    I find it so very irresponsible for a journalist to allow a politician so much time to spout misleading party talking points without calling them out. It's nothing less than lazy journalism to allow James Baker to point out President Obama's senatorial "no" vote on raising the debt ceiling and then draw the conclusion that Senator Obama was willing to see the country go into default. Shouldn't a journalist take this opportunity to point out that when Senator Obama voted no, there was no chance of the measure failing. Yes, it was political brinksmanship on Senator Obama's part, voting no so that he would be on record as being opposed to an unpopular term :raising the debt ceiling", but it is also true that Obama's no vote never ran the risk of actually causing a default! When a reporter like Mr. Zacharia allows these kind of misrepresentations to go unchecked, they basically co-author the misrepresentation that causes an ignorant citizen, seeking information to be mislead! We don't need more time to be given to these politicians to spout talking points. WE NEED RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM!!!!

    October 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  11. Ron

    Jim Baker stated that the way to increase government revenues is to grow the economy; not to increase taxes. This statement implies that the government policies have the ability to grow the economy outside of fiscal stimulation. Jim's statement sounds emotional and not based in facts.

    October 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  12. True. Words

    ZAREED as much as you try you are so bias, and always twist everything to fit you democratic agenda that those of us with some level of intelligence or IQ or common sense just do trust you as much as we try....., ZAREED is and always has been part of the democrat propaganda. some reporters as much as they try, just won't inspire any credibility....specially if we have some brains and common sense, the elite cable media and most of its reporters ( fox! CNN, MSNBC,etc) just can't seem to get it that we Americans are feed up and tired of all this non-sense reporting, we the middle class want the media and Washington to focus on the countries economic and infrastructure problems so we and our children, grandchildren and generations to come of Americans can live the American dream our founders intended for us.

    October 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      "Hey, did you hear ? The government was partial closed."
      "Good! Just wait until those clowns are down to wearing barrels like the rest of us!"
      "No you moron, NOT partially CLOTHED." ! Partially CLOSED!"
      "Ohhh ok. Huh? CLOSED ?!? OMG get it open! NOW before we're all DOOMED!!"
      "Relax, they just had a stupid spat. But they've reopened now."
      "Thank goodness, we're saved! What were they fighting about anyhow?"
      "Not too sure...... but I think they agreed to take our barrels."

      October 21, 2013 at 5:51 am | Reply
  13. JAL

    4 errors on embedded fonts, bolds and italics, whatever that means. Scan it as PDF, not save as PDF. stupid.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • JAL

      One week delay on patent submittal.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  14. ertyerty4563456

    CALCULEMOS.
    USTED QUE ES WEB MASTER, CUENTE LAS VISISTAS QUE TIENE .
    CUANTAS PERSONAS LO LLAMAN POR LAS ACTIVIDADES QUE HACE.
    *ALLI TIENE LA PRIMERO PROBABILIDAD.
    OK A NOSOTROS NO NOS ESTA PREGUNTANDO NADIE POR ESTE TIPO DE DENUNCIAS Y CRIMENES USTED CREE ESTO?.
    EXTRAÑO NO?.
    POR QUE LA DIFERENCIA ENTRE SU PROBABILIDAD X=% Y LA DE NOSOTROS Z=0%.
    REVISE INTERNET Y VEA CUANTAS VECES ENCUENTRA NUESTROS TELEFONOS.
    ESTOS SON: 0414-422-91-69 0414-406-68-52 0414-585-00-44.
    AUSTED LO LLAMAN AL DIA AL MENOS 5 PERSONAS, VERDAD POR QUIESTIONES DE TRABAJOS.
    CUANTOS OLO LLAMAN POR CRIMENES?.
    HAGAN LOS REPORTES.
    EJEMPLO EN SU ALCALDIA?.
    CUANTOS POR ASESINATOS?. X=%
    CUANTOS POR VIOLACIONES?. Y=%
    CUANTOS POR ROBOS?. Z=%
    CUANTOS POR GENOCIDIO?. W=?
    QUE EXTRAÑO POR GENOCIDIO SON?.
    CADA PROBABILIDAD LE MUESTRAQUE EN UN PERIODO DE TIEMPO USTED DEBERA RECIBIR ESTAS LLAMADAS.
    ---------------–

    HAGAMOS LO MISMO QUE EN LAS ELECCIONES, POR QUE USTEDES EN LAS ELECCIONES, POR QUE A USTEDES
    EN EL GOBIERNO LAS ESTADISTICA LES CUEDRAN Y A NOSOTROS EN LA OPOSICION PROYECTO GENOCIDIO
    NOS CUADRAN PERO NO NOS LLAMAN.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  15. ertyerty4563456

    CALCULEMOS.
    USTED QUE ES WEB MASTER, CUENTE LAS VISISTAS QUE TIENE .
    CUANTAS PERSONAS LO LLAMAN POR LAS ACTIVIDADES QUE HACE.
    *ALLI TIENE LA PRIMERO PROBABILIDAD.
    OK A NOSOTROS NO NOS ESTA PREGUNTANDO NADIE POR ESTE TIPO DE DENUNCIAS Y CRIMENES USTED CREE ESTO?.
    EXTRAÑO NO?.
    POR QUE LA DIFERENCIA ENTRE SU PROBABILIDAD X=% Y LA DE NOSOTROS Z=0%.
    REVISE INTERNET Y VEA CUANTAS VECES ENCUENTRA NUESTROS TELEFONOS.
    ESTOS SON: 0414-422-91-69 0414-406-68-52 0414-585-00-44.
    AUSTED LO LLAMAN AL DIA AL MENOS 5 PERSONAS, VERDAD POR QUIESTIONES DE TRABAJOS.
    CUANTOS OLO LLAMAN POR CRIMENES?.
    HAGAN LOS REPORTES.
    EJEMPLO EN SU ALCALDIA?.
    CUANTOS POR ASESINATOS?. X=%
    CUANTOS POR VIOLACIONES?. Y=%
    CUANTOS POR ROBOS?. Z=%
    CUANTOS POR GENOCIDIO?. W=?
    QUE EXTRAÑO POR GENOCIDIO SON?.
    CADA PROBABILIDAD LE MUESTRAQUE EN UN PERIODO DE TIEMPO USTED DEBERA RECIBIR ESTAS LLAMADAS.
    -----–

    HAGAMOS LO MISMO QUE EN LAS ELECCIONES, POR QUE USTEDES EN LAS ELECCIONES, POR QUE A USTEDES
    EN EL GOBIERNO LAS ESTADISTICA LES CUEDRAN Y A NOSOTROS EN LA OPOSICION PROYECTO GENOCIDIO
    NOS CUADRAN PERO NO NOS LLAMAN.
    QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

    October 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  16. Vinnie from Tewksbury

    Fareed,

    James Baker was very interesting. I hope you realize that he contradicted your opening comments. The Tea Party was NOT created to deal with social issues. It was created to bring attention to the uncontrolled spending problems of the federal government. I do wish that you and your liberal minded friends would start to acknowledge this. You and your liberal friends keep trying to steer the conversation away from the fact that we are spending ourselves into oblivion.
    Again, the Tea Party is concerned with out of controlled spending and not issues such as immigration, etc.

    October 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      "Hey, did you hear ? The government was partial closed."
      "Good! Just wait until those clowns are down to wearing barrels like the rest of us!"
      "No you moron, NOT partially CLOTHED." ! Partially CLOSED!"
      "Ohhh ok. Huh? CLOSED ?!? OMG get it open! NOW before we're all DOOMED!!"
      "Relax, they just had a stupid spat. But they've reopened now."
      "Thank goodness, we're saved! What were they fighting about anyhow?"
      "Not too sure...... but I think they agreed to take our barrels."

      October 21, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply
  17. Dembo Kalley

    I find your commentary on Africa very disturbing. This seem like a pattern on your show every time Africa comes up, you seem to look at the negative instead of the positive. I suggest you bring experts like Mo Ibrahim you mentioned and real Africa experts(african) to give you the tremendous strides the continent is going through. Unlike India that has the worst form of poverty like no where else in the world. Where about half of world's functional illiteracy lives with corruption and dysfunctional democracy. Please invite real decision makers and even some Indian businessmen who are thriving in Africa.Africa

    October 21, 2013 at 12:18 am | Reply

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