America has "lost its leverage" in the world because of its dependence on the Middle East and China, said Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist at The New York Times.
“Our challenge right now is that we have to cut here in order to invest there—That is the discussion we should be having,” Friedman told CNBC in a live interview. “We need a strategy to make America great again.”
Friedman said the government’s priorities should be enhancing education, building good infrastructure and promoting immigration.
“We always need to be enriching our pot,” said Friedman. “In this world where creativity is the single most comparative advantage, to be cutting ourselves off from world’s number one intellectual [position] that’s the dumbest thing in the world.”
On the energy front, Friedman said he is concerned about America's lack of independence.
“First rule of oil—addicts never tell the truth to their pushers. We are the addicts, the oil producers are pushers—we’ve never had an honest conversation with the Saudis,” said Friedman.
“Saudi Arabia’s private donors are the world’s biggest funders of the Taliban still—so why don’t we have that conversation?”