Fareed Zakaria to the American people: You are ‘the big problem’

So if you had a prime time cable news show and were looking for thoughtful insight into the current tax-cut debate being waged on Capitol Hill, who might you invite on your show?  How about the guy with a show on your network with a focus on foreign policy?

And so goes CNN’s “Parker Spitzer.”

On the December 14 broadcast of Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker’s relatively young show, Fareed Zakaria appeared to elaborate on his December 13 Washington Post column in which he attacked government spending and tax cuts.

“The Chinese are the ones who should be celebrating Thanksgiving and we should be having a big Mardi Gras party,” Zakaria said. “But that’s what we pick up, a kind of a culture of overconsumption.”

Parker asked Zakaria if he had faith the American people could handle the fiscal discipline he advocated. Zakaria used the platform as an opportunity to attack Americans and refute the notion “the American people are wonderful.” His solution: Less consumption by the American people.

“No, I think the people are the big problem,” Zakaria said. “I mean, Americans — everybody wants to say the American people are so wonderful. You know, I think that when they come to recognize that they have to make sacrifices too that it’s not just wasteful — they need to have — they need to recognize that some of what’s going to happen here is fewer. They have to consume fewer things. They have to accept slightly higher taxes. And in the long run, you will have a much better economy.”


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  • Entrepreneur

    As an Indian immigrant who loves both the US and India, I’m shocked by Zakaria’s stupidity in this piece. He’s a smart man but he’s getting carried away by the rankings and stats on the growth of China and India. He (and Tom Friedman!) has to look deeper into those numbers and see the structural and quality of life issues these two countries will face. With all its weaknesses, America is the greatest country in the world and once it recaptures its mojo there will be no doubt as to who the world leader for the next century will be.

    Someone with a background like Mitt Romney’s can really challenge the growth rates we are experiencing, get the fundamentals of the economy jumpstarted, and leave countries like China in the dust.

  • Ritchie The Riveter

    The American people are the problem, but not in the refusal to submit to the “leadership” of the so-called Best and Brightest like Mr. Zakaria.

    Our problem is the dead opposite … instead of shouldering the responsibility to find the solutions to their individual-specific problems and chart our own destinies, we have “outsourced” our personal authority and responsibility to our alleged intellectual “betters” in an attempt to have our problems solved FOR us.

    That is why we have the bloated government we do … and the economic and regulatory drag it exerts upon our ability to pursue happiness. That is why we founder as unemployment stays high … waiting for “smart people” who have no way of understanding individual situations to impose one-size-fits-all paradigms when only individually-fitted solutions will produce lasting progress.

    We have outsourced our problem-solving, because we have been LIED to, for years and years, by people like Mr. Zakaria … we have been told that our only way out is to subordinate our decision-making authority and control of our resources to “smarter people” who might have exhibited academic achievement, but lack wisdom … lacking especially the wisdom to understand their own limitations as human beings when it comes to understanding the individual problems of 300 million Americans.

    We have been misled … and are continuing to be misled … about our right to pursue happiness …

    … our right TO GET AHEAD.