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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  October 31, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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our customers'. so you can stay ahead. get started with a great offer and ask how you can add comcast business securityedge. plus for a limited time, ask how to get a $500 prepaid card when you upgrade. call today. this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live. today on the show -- world leaders gathered at the g20 summit in rome this weekend to discuss economic recovery, climate change, the fight against covid-19 and more. what were the successes and
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failures? i'll ask the man who led a g20 effort to rescue the global economy successfully the last time around. >> a global plan for recovery and reform. >> former british prime minister gordon brown. then, it has been two months since the united states completed its chaotic withdrawal from afghanistan. i sat down with the lead negotiator of the peace deal with the taliban, america's former special enjoy, zalmay khalilzad. >> nobody is happy with the final phase of the withdrawal. >> what went wrong, and what's next for afghanistan? i'll ask him. finally, democrats have been scrambling for months to finalize president biden's $1.75 trillion spending bill. the biggest roadblock has been how to pay for it. i'll talk to a leading expert with a theory that says the big price tag is really not a problem.
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but first, here's "my take." have we witnessed another "sputnik" moment? "the financial times" reported china tested a hypersonic missile this summer, though china denies this. general mark milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, compared the test to the soviet union's "sputnik" launch during the cold war. i don't know if it's quite a "sputnik" moment, but i think it's very close to that. >> general milley should dust off his history books, the chinese trip has nothing in common with "sputnik" and saying so feeds a dangerous paranoia growing in washington, d.c. to recall, the soviet union launched "sputnik," the first manmade satellite to orbit the plan in 1967. both the u.s. and ussr had been planning to launch in face for years and the fact moscow got there first was a huge shot no americans. coming in the week of multiple,
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powerful nuclear tests, soviet powers, the united states acknowledged, was ahead. hypersonic missiles, on the other hand, are very old news. a hypersonic missile travels at five times the speed of sound. starting in 1959, the united states and the soviet union deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles that traveled around 20 times the speed of town. even germany's v2 rockets, first launched against paris during the last phase of world war ii, flew at close to hypersonic speeds. cameron tracy, a stanford scientist and expert on the topic, has pointed out hypersonic weapons are neither faster nor stealthier than i icbms. by the way, that chinese missile missed its target by 24 miles. as fred caplan, author and
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journalist wrote, perhaps they tried to nullify america's vast system but that system, as he points out, is an expensive white elephant that failed three of its last six tests despite hundreds of billions of dollars that have been spent on it to date. perhaps why the pentagon hasn't even tested the system since the spring of 2019. and even if the system had perfect aim, it could still be rendered useless with small asymmetrical measures like simply firing two missiles at the same time. alas, don't expect science and facts to have much sway in this discussion, that's because there's now a bipartisan consensus in washington. we're coming dangerously close to a new cold war. for the pentagon, it's an opportunity, raising fears about a huge and tech-savvy enemy is a surefire way to guarantee vast new budgets that can be spent countering the enemy's every move, real and imagined. the move goes beyond washington. foreign affairs published an
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essay by the scholarist and famous realist who captured lawmakers engaging china the last four decades. he predicts our active encouragement of a peer competitor will lead to a new cold war that could get hot and even nuclear. but realist logic only gets you so far. the high priest of realism, kenneth waltz, often predicted once the cold war ended and japan had gotten strong, it would throw off the shackles of dependence on america for security and acquire nuclear weapons. he himself predicted in 1990 as the cold war ended, nato would collapse and europe would become a cog fckpit of warring states it had been before the cold war. he believed many german states, chiefly germany, would likely acquire nuclear weapons. none of these predictions have come to pass. in fact, the european union has grown tighter and stronger in the decades after the cold war,
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and they remain nonnuclear. i raise this to make the point, mish himer looked at only one of the great forces that moat vitts states in the international system, power politics. but there are other like economic interdependence, the world today thoroughly enmeshed with a complex global economic system where war would hurt the aggressor nearly as much as the victim. there have been almost no land grabs since 1945, the most notable exception being russia's an thenization of crimea in 2014. this almost unprecedented respect for borders, in addition, nuclear deterrence has raised the stakes, making countries far more cautious about launching a great pausch war. the task of american foreign policy is to recognize the traditional power politics can indeed deter chinese expansionism, while also recognizing the ways in which interdependence might constrain it. the u.s. should make an effort
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to deploy both tools. this approach will certainly prove far more complicated to implement than scare-mongering and chest-thumping, but it is precisely the one that is likely to keep the world at peace and prosperity. go to for a link to my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. ♪ earlier today, the g20 leaders tossed coins into rome's trevi fountain. tradition says those who do so will return to rome. good for them, but on the actual agenda this weekend were key issues like the global economy and the fight against covid-19. and today's events are all about climate change before the leaders jet off to the cop26 climate conferein conference in
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scotland. joining me now from scotland is gordon brown. when he was the british prime minister, he hosted a g20 that made great progress in healing the then-broken global economy. gordon, welcome. >> hello. >> you have been -- you have been urging that the g20 take active measures to close the vaccine gap that you call immoral. 60% to 70% of the developed world is vaccinated. 3% to 5% of africa is vaccinated. and yet no great measures came out of the g20 on this front. why do you think they're not moving in this direction? as you point out, hundreds of millions of vaccines are actually expiring and will be used by no one. >> yep, we could lose 100 million vaccines just wasted passed the use-by date by the
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end of the year if we don't transfer the vaccines from the global north to the global south, who is desperately in need of them. and the g20 understood we need 40% vaccination in the poorest countries by december. there are more denations we have been given but what we need is a operational plan, a time for delivery, month-by-month airlifts out to the places that need them the most. it's a military operation to the scale that hasn't been considered yet that we need. and i hope as a result of the communique we'll get late this afternoon this urgency is recognized and we can do something about it. nobody is safe until everybody is safe. we have to vaccine the rest of the world if america and the west is going to be safe at the same time. >> vladimir putin says that part of what's going on here is protectionism and vaccine nationalism, or else we would have a system of sort of registering and giving a stamp
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of approval to the russian vaccines, the chinese slvaccine. is he right? >> he's right about nationalism. i think he's wrong about expecting russia just to get a clean bill of health until its vaccine's been approved. the most important thing is that we realize that we need a joint effort here. between canada, america, the european union and the united kingdom, there are more than 200 million, prapds even 300 million, vaccines lying unused. and that's even after taking into account boosters in every country, the young people vaccination in every country, that is the extent of overordering and basically the g20 has got a monopoly of the supply of vaccines and it's got to release them in the rest of the world is to be vaccinated. we've got international organizations, and they're trying their best and i applaud them, but they don't have control of the vaccine supply. the g20 countries have got to release these vaccines and release them now. this is probably the biggest
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public policy failure of our times, because when you hoard vaccines in one part of the world and deny them to the rest of the world, it is indeed a moral outrage but it's something you can do something about with proper coordination. >> let me ask you, gordon, about the other big issue that many say is a policy failure on climate. the economists call cop26 the great copout. paris has established a target but now it seems to me the great challenges establishing mechanisms by which countries will meet these targets of getting to lower emissions, probably that means a carbon price or carbon tax in the developed world and it means some green subsidies in the developing world to wean them off coal. how do we get there? >> well, there are two policy failures that could happen here. we're going to get agreements on
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coal. we're going to get agreements on electric cars. we're going to get agreements on foresty. the 2060/2050 net zero carbon emission target will be announced. but first is missing is two things, as you say, we've got to wrappette up the commitments of each country during the 2020s, otherwise we'll never get to the 1.5 degrees we need to be at. equally, you have to help developing countries, the same as vaccination, you have to give them financial support to enable them to do the mitigation and adaptation. it's a tragedy that after 11 years we promised this $100 billion financing to the poorer countries 11 years ago and we never reached it. we've got to reach it this week, and i believe there are special measures that could be taken and i have been suggesting and innovative finance facility, alongside many others, that could get us beyond the $100 billion and much beyond the $100
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billion but that's got to be done with the trust of the developing countries that the west will particularly deliver on its promises. >> do you think at the heart of these failures, the rise of nationalism, protectionism is the lack of american leadership? because after all, certainly, there's no other country that can fill it right now. >> i think president biden has led on global taxation. he's putting forward proposals on climate and on vaccination, but i think what's really happening here is america is used to acting unilaterally in what used to be a uni polar age, and american has now got to lead at multilateral action in a multi polar age. there's no use harkening back to an age to say something and it's going to be done. you have to bring other people along with you. and that didn't happen, as you know, over afghanistan but it did happen over this climate summit and it could happen over vaccination, the two big public policy failures of our time. yes, i look to american
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leadership but it's america leading a multi clot ral approach in a multi polar era. >> gordon brown, thank you for those wise words. >> thank you. next on gps -- the man who works for both trump and biden in negotiating with the taliban before they took kabul, he resigned from his paid department post and you will hear from him next. ♪ we believe everyone deserves to live better.
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in september 2018 president trump named zalmay khalilzad to be his special representative for afghan reconciliation.
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president biden kept him on to continue negotiating with the taliban. and then in august the taliban took kabul, essentially completing its takeover of afghanistan. two weeks ago, he sent his resignation letter to secretary of state blinken. the ambassador who wrote a book called "the envoy" joined me for a debrief on what exactly happened at the end of america's longest war. welcome zalmay khalilzad. >> well, thank you, it's great to be with you again. >> so let's start with the agreement that was negotiated with the taliban, you negotiated it under donald trump. trump's own national security adviser says this was a surrender agreement. was it? >> no. the president, president trump, decided after trying what mcmaster had put in place to escalate the war in afghanistan,
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give the military the authorities to do whatever it would take to put us on the path to victory, and he came to a judgment that we were not winning, we, in fact, were losing ground. and therefore he decided the war was too costly financially given the change in the world, the rise of china, that $40 billion a year spent in afghanistan was not appropriate given his evaluation of the importance of afghanistan. so, therefore, he wanted to withdraw, and i was asked whether i could take the lead in negotiating an agreement not only to ensure a peaceful withdrawal of our forces, but also assurances on terrorism from the taliban and at my urging and secretary pompeo's
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support, to see if we can get the afghans to negotiate with each other as part of an agreement for a new government that will end the afghan war as well. >> so this is a very important thing that i think many commentators have said and americans i think generally do think, which is why couldn't we have just stayed on? a number of people have said, look, we only had 2,500 troops in afghanistan a few years ago. things seem to be fine. no americans were being killed. >> right. >> but you say that situation was not sustainable. >> that situation was a result of the agreement with the taliban, that they wouldn't attack us as we were withdrawing and the withdrawal was in phases. face one to come down from about 15,000 fighters, soldiers and 20,000 contractors that were supporting the afghans and our
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forces to 8,600, and then from 8,600 we came down to 4,600 and then 2,500 before president trump left office. i think if we had told them we're not withdrawing, we are staying at 2,500, the war between us and the taliban would have restarted and then i believe the military would have come and said, in order to be able to protect ourselves, to prevent further taliban progress on the battlefield, we would need more forces. >> and it's fair to say in your judgment, and looking at the facts on the ground, over the last five years the taliban was winning and we were losing? >> over the past seven years actually that the taliban were winning, they were making progress, we were losing ground. and this is when we had 15,000 or more, so the question that i have for general mcmaster and other critics as to after 17,
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15, 16 years, billions of dollars, why was that the case that we in fact were militarily losing ground each year and that the option was either to escalate it and maybe try something very different and some numbers were in order to win, we needed 400,000, 500,000 troops given the size of afghanistan and its population, or stay at the smaller number, the war goes on, no victory, perhaps the if the numbers were low, even losing more ground. and the president of the united states -- two presidents, not only one. maybe three if you include president obama, that saw they were not willing to escalate that much, and they thought what we were doing was not sustainable. >> there were charges made that even if you had to withdraw, the biden administration mishandled the withdrawal badly. do you think that that's a fair
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criticism? >> well, nobody is happy with the way the final phase of the withdrawal happened with the rest of the population out of fear because a lot of people, including many in the government, argue that the taliban moves into kabul and there would be a bloodbath destruction of kabul, what happened in the '90s could be repeated so there was fear as the taliban were coming into kabul. and then there was an opportunity where a message spread across afghanistan like wildfire that anyone would can make it to the airport will be taken to the united states. so you had this massive rush of thousands and thousands of people to the airport and with though seeds, nobody was of the view this was very positively done. in terms of the logistics of
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getting everybody out, there's no suggestion that any other power could do what we need, but if you look at the totality, it was obviously very undesirable. >> next on "gps," i will ask kbaed zalmay khalilzad about the complete collapse of the regime and takeover by the taliban. how did this happen so fast, when we come back. one of the many reasons you're with amex platinum. ♪ ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark.
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and now for more of my interview with the former u.s. special representative for afghanistan reconciliation,
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zalmay khalilzad. ambassador, you were there negotiating with the taliban. and you had a plan, which would be a transition, different coalition of forces in afghanistan, and instead what we got was the complete collapse of the kabul regime, the taliban's total takeover. >> right. >> why did that happen? >> well, i believe there were two reasons for it. one was the gap between the two sides, the afghan side was large. part of the blame goes to the afghan government and taliban, and part of the blame goes to the taliban on the government's side. there were grand miscalculations of the elite in kabul that they thought the united states would never withdraw from afghanistan. they thought we're close to china, pakistan, russian, iran, who would want to leave there? so they didn't move when they should have moved. and second, i think president
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ghani miscalculated about the strength of his armed forces. we thought we, the united states, was holding them gak from fighting the war the way the afghans would fight it. and even if he left, which we didn't believe, he would be freer to fight. he was, i think, intransigent wanting to stay in power and didn't make the compromises that was necessary. the talibs were also there intransigent elements but their calculations turned out to be better. >> they were winning. >> they knew that the president wanted to leave so they knew time was on their side, and their intall intelligence was if we wait, the balance will shift in our favor and we'll get better terms. so i think the problem was on both sides. >> but ghani's sudden departure also caused that collapse,
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right? >> no doubt. >> the taliban realized they didn't have to share power. >> well, as the balance began to shift, because initially many districts fell to the taliban without the real serious fa wad, and then pro convenienceal provinces fell to them, as provincial kabul i tried one more time to get inclusive government other than power balancing earlier but the balance shifted so much to say they would be dominant but they would want their republic to be part of it and they would negotiable for two weeks and then there would be a peaceful transfer while president ghani would be president, and then he would turn over power to this new government. and the talibs agreed not to enter kabul. in fact, they had some units there that they withdrew. but he had agreed to it. also some of his close aides told me he even videotaped a message to the afghan people that was supposed to be broadcasted that night, but then
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he then went away. it's possible it was fear that the talibs might not honor it, that he might get caught. but whatever the reason, he aabandoned his country and abandoned many close aides. once the government disintegrated and there were law and order concerns the banks would be raided, the taliban then went in. >> when you look at the taliban now, people say they're the same -- some people say they're worse because 20 years of fighting, that it is a bloody, vengeful, quasi terrorist organization. >> yes and no. i think it's hard to make the case that they are the same. first, afghanistan is not the same, which has to be stated very clearly. millions have now gone to school, to university, men and
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women. kabul, which was a dead city, now 5.5 million people city, totally transformed. and now the struggle is between talibs and this -- >> new afghanistan. >> -- new afghanistan. who's going to win in the struggle that is now between afghans? the talibs are allowing education, although elementary and to college and private schools, women and men are going. they're not interfered with. they have allowed the high school education for girls in four or five provinces. they want to separate them -- >> segregated. >> segregated. they're getting ready and they say to allow the rest and the same will be true of universities. press is relatively free. if you watch afghan evening news, as i do, and there is very tough engagement of the taliban leaders by the media.
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women anchors, at the same time cell phones all over, interaction with the world. i think the taliban was some of more of the same, others have changed and they're adjusting to change in afghanistan. >> as an afghan-american, somebody who spends so much time in this, how has this left you feeling? >> well, i'm not happy about that i did not succeed to respond to the very understandable human aspirations of the afghan people, their yearning for peace. i tried my very best to bring the two sides to negotiate on a roadmap to respond to the aspirations of the people, what has been 40 years. so that struggle goes on, struggle for -- not as many afghans are dyeing now, but
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struggle for an inclusive afghanistan where ruler and urban afghans, morris lambic, less religious in terms of politics, can come to some agreement on a formula that respects the differences that exist, and that's the challenge for the taliban, the challenge for our policy. i recommend that we use the leverage that we have, which is considerable, to negotiate the roadmap for the future of afghanistan. a detailed roadmap, written that would reflect the consensus of the taliban because there are different factions, but once you have it in writing, the record generally is that they go along in terms of implementing it.
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>> ambassador khalilzad, it's good to have you on. >> thank you. it's great to be with you. next on "gps," much of the coverage of president biden's bill focuses on the price tag. but does the cost even matter? a surprising answer from a famous economist when we come back.
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and that's just basic wavy guy maintenance, right? next up, carvana. oh, boy. carvana just doesn't seem to understand how the test drive works. they give their customers seven days. and if they don't like it, they give 'em their money back. wait, they take the car back? that's crazy! what if it was driven by like a zookeeper?
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or a mud wrestler? or a guy who's on the outs with the missus and he just needs a place to sleep for seven days? yeah. (vo) buy your car online. love it or return it. with carvana. let's get this done. that's what president biden said before heading to the g20 in rome. he wanted congress to pass his proposed $1.75 trillion climate and social spending bill and $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. both have their price tag the halved and they're still hand-wringing over how much they cost. but does the cost really matter? stelny kelton is professor of economics and public policy and author of "the deficit myth." welcome, stephanie. one of the things you have talked about in your book is that when we think about this
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question of are we spending too much, will this kind of deficit spending cause problems like inflation, you say it's as if the last 30 years of history didn't happen. tell us what you mean by that. >> well, fareed, for so many years we have been taught to think about government deficits as something that's inherently irresponsible. maybe in a time of crisis, like after the financial crisis and great recession or during the covid pandemic, we make allowances and we say, well, okay, we have to run some deficits because it's a moment of crisis. but in more normal times we're told deficits are something we ought to strive to avoid, that governments ought to balance their budgets, that they should respectfully balance a budget like a household, that deficits are dangerous because they do things like driving up interest rates, making our long-term debt unsustainable, produce a slower growing economy, putting us at
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risk of national bankruptcy, insol vansy turning greed like we saw in 2010 with many countries in europe struggling with debt. so we have been taught deficits are something inherently dangerous and risky and i think for the last 30 years, as you said, really should cause us to rethink a lot of that. >> and explain what you mean by that, that we have been going through -- we've been spending, we've run up large deficits. countries like japan have run up huge deficits and no inflation. >> yes, japan's been running large fiscal deficits for the last three decades, and you're right, with little inflation to show for it. the u.s. has been running fiscal deficits basically my entire life, with the exception of really four years during the clinton presidency. and, you know, we have just witnessed in the last 18 months
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or so congress commit about $5 trillion to fighting the pandemic, supporting the economy and what did we end up with? we ended up with the shortest recession in u.s. history. so we have demonstrated the power of fiscal policy, what it is possible to do, lifting nearly half of all of the kids in this country out of poverty, supporting families, supporting small and large businesses, protecting this economy through the pandemic, and it works and it works without producing all of the negative consequences that we've been taught to associate with deficits. >> what about the argument that now you are seeing inflation? larry summers has argued that right now because of really the covid relief spending that was in his view too much, you are seeing inflation. some, i should explain, does support a lot of the social spending and infrastructure bill, but he feels like all of
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it together is producing inflation and the numbers do seem to be ticking up, right? >> well, look, one of the first things that we teach students in their very first economics course is not to confuse correlation with causation. yes, we had two things happen, we had a huge increase in fiscal support. so large government deficits that have supported the economy and pulled us out of a recession very, very quickly. and, yes, we have higher-than-normal inflationary pressures. not just here in the u.s., fareed, but, of course, around the world. so you can look at these two things and say they're happening alongside one another, therefore, it must be evidence the government has pushed too far with fiscal policy. that in fact the spending is creating the extra inflationary pressures we see today. i don't think that's right at all. if you look at what, let's say the san francisco federal reserve bank, they've got a research staff.
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some of their researchers just within the last two weeks published a study asking this exact question, how much of the current inflation we're experiencing can we trace to the $1.9 trillion covid relief package that was passed in march? in other words, is larry right, is larry summers right that that is what has been driving a lot of the inflation we're currently experiencing? what they found is the answer is unequivocally no, that this year, that spending will add something like 0.3% points to the inflation index that the federal reserve cares most about and that next year it will add about .2% to inflation. in other words, it is practically negligible. and what we're dealing with our supply chain and reopening, the pressures related to those kind of challenges are pushing inflation higher but it doesn't appear that it is correct to say that the government pushed spending too far.
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>> and what about the long-term issue of entitlement spending, medicare, social security all going? people say, look, we're facing a future where spending is going to take off, so we have to be careful today. >> look, we have commitments that we have made to retirees, to dependents, to the disabled in the form of social security, and we have commitments that we have made to people receiving medicare. and so there are two separate questions here, right? one is can the federal government afford -- >> stephanie, i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry, i realized i got the timing wrong. we are out of time. we're going to have you come back and talk about all of this more. i just want to give one thought, leave viewers with one thought, which is the spending is over ten years. it's important to keep in mind, and it's about $3 trillion. american's gdp over that ten years will be about $300
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and now for "the last look." america's hottest new export is not an iphone or social media app, it's an idea, "the big lie." it's found a receptive consumer in general bolsonaro of brazil.
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for months he's been contending brazil's electronic voting system, which delivered bolsonaro himself a decisive victory in 2018, is somehow in danger of turning up fraudulent results in the country's presidential elections next year. as with donald trump's lie, there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim, but that has not stopped bolsonaro in repeating it in live, rambling addresses on social media and rallies and interviews to provoke conservative news outlets. and bolsonaro has been even more aggressive than trump in peddling his lie. this summer he championed a constitutional amendment that would use a paper ballot to back up the electronic system. as the ap reported, three supreme court justices said this would merely provide opportunity for baseless fraud claims. in july bolsonaro issued a veiled threat to lawmakers saying that if the elections weren't clean, they might not be held at all. his threat didn't work. in august congress rejected the measure.
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but that didn't deter the president from his message. on september 7th, the 199th anniversary of brazil's independence, bolsonaro called for rallies in cities across the country, he ratcheted up the rhetoric ahead of the event telling supporters he had three future options -- being arrested, getting killed or victory. as "the new york times" notes, 150 lawmakers, former heads of state and former ministers from 26 countries issued a joint statement raising fears that the september 7th rally could turn into an insurrection. on the day itself, tens of thousands of supporters thronged the streets of sao paulo, addressing a crowd there bolsonaro declared only god would remove him from power. thankfully whatever bolsonaro's intent, the event did not turn into a repeat of the january 6th capitol riot. it's not coincidental that this push comes at a time when
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bolsonaro's popularity is at a record low and he trails in the opinion polls his opponent, former president dasilva, that bolsonaro is so closely following donald trump's 2020 election script should not surprise us, considering he used the support of prominent figures in trump world. steve bannon said recently that brazil's election was the second-most important in the world, predicting bolsonaro would win, unless the election was stolen by the machines. and donald trump himself endorsed bolsonaro enthusiastically in a statement issued just on tuesday, declaring that the brazilian leader and he were great friends. now, the affinity between the two leaders is well established, bolsonaro has long been called the trump of the tropics, but with the big lie, 9 brazilian leader is emulating the most dangerous aspect of donald trump's presidency and post
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presidency, eroding trust in the most basic tenet of the democratic system, the one without which it cannot survive, free and fair elections. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ you don't get much time for yourself.
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hey, i'm brian stelter live in new york and this is "reliable sources," where we examine the story behind the story and try to figure out what's reliable. this hour a media frenzy in virginia. new calls for journalists to step up their game. david sirota will join me live. also, mark