Economic challenges take center stage at Open Classroom

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By Matt Collette | news @ Northeastern | September 14, 2012

Pres­i­dent Obama and Repub­lican chal­lenger Mitt Romney are rarely in the same place, either phys­i­cally or polit­i­cally. But on Wednesday, eco­nomic experts who have advised both men shared the stage to dis­cuss the fal­tering global economy and the role of fed­eral policy in addressing the crisis.

“At just about any point since the Second World War, the ques­tion was always quite clear and you knew what the prob­lems was,” said former Har­vard Uni­ver­sity pres­i­dent Larry Sum­mers, an econ­o­mist who headed the U.S. Trea­sury from 1999 to 2001 under Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton and served as eco­nomic adviser for Pres­i­dent Obama until 2010. “What stands out at this moment is that you can listen to a dis­cus­sion of some­thing like the deficit and there are two major cross-cutting themes.”

Sum­mers and Romney’s eco­nomic adviser, Greg Mankiw, the former chair of Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s Council of Eco­nomic Advisers, dis­cussed the economy on Wednesday evening as part of the Open Class­room series spon­sored by the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. The lec­ture series — The 2012 Elec­tion: Policy Advice to the Pres­i­dent — will be held every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in 20 West Vil­lage F throughout the semester and is open to the public. Read More

Obama and Romney economic advisers spar on taxes, US aid

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Harvard economists offer rival visions

By Megan Woolhouse | The Boston Globe | September 14, 2012

In a Northeastern University classroom, the architect of President Obama’s stimulus plan and a key economic adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out competing visions on how to repair the nation’s economy — the issue that has come to define the election campaign.

Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard University president, Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and top economic adviser to Obama, told the audience government must help fuel a recovery, advocating for additional stimulus to repair schools, hire teachers, and rebuild airports.

On the other end sat N. Gregory Mankiw, who in addition to counseling Romney served as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. He said the key to a long-term recovery is tax reform, including a review of the necessity of popular tax breaks, such as the deduction for mortgage interest. Read More

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