Economy professors debate Obama, Romney policies
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Six economics professors debated the merits and shortcomings of each presidential nominee’s economic plan Monday in Purnell Hall. Michael Arnold, Saul Hoffman and Laurence Seidman supported President Barack Obama’s policies while Burt Abrams, Stacie Beck and William Harris argued for Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney’s plan.
Seidman began the debate by telling the audience that the economy could be much worse. He said the recession was not a depression because of the president’s stimulus plan, but the result was a higher deficit.
“Once we get the economy strong, then we can balance the budget,” Seidman said.
He said he did not think voters should blame Obama for the national debt, and he said Obama’s policies that would allow the economy to recover from the 2008 recession should continue.
Harris disagreed with Seidman, using graphs and charts, and said the president was at fault for the state of the national economy. He said Obama’s predictions were vastly different from what actually happened under his presidency.
Harris said the general perception was that the “failed economic policies of George W. Bush” were worse than the “hope and change of Barack Obama.” However, he said Obama did worse than Bush in economic benchmarks such as average monthly unemployment, average annual GDP growth, average federal budget deficit and real median family income.
“You were promised in 2008 hope and change, but you’ve been given what I call dopey derange,” Harris said. “Don’t be duped and fooled again. We can do better simply by not doing badly again.”
Beck said the economy’s recovery from the recession was the slowest in history and it is not getting any better. She said giving citizens stimulus packages would not solve the problem.
“We need new sources of income,” Beck said. “Job creation is not occurring anymore. So what we have to do here is improve investment.”
She said Obama and his administration are not creating a business-friendly environment within the economy, which will only hurt its recovery in the long run.
Arnold, who argued the Democratic side, said Romney should never be elected as president because he worked in the private sector and cannot fully understand the complexity of the U.S. economy or the needs of its citizens.
“Romney’s comments about the 47 percent only scratch the surface of the man’s dark soul,” Arnold said. “He doesn’t care about most of the U.S. population, and he would be a lousy president.”
Hoffman then said government regulation of health care, specifically the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare,” was one of the most important aspects of economic policy. He said Romney does not have a strong healthcare plan for the country.
“Here’s what he’s saying—‘I have no idea at all what to do, and, frankly, I don’t care if anything ever gets done,’” Hoffman said.
Hoffman also said Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s plan for budget cuts would leave social programs without money.