Obama's Economic Policies Are Working Effectively

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Obama's Economic Policies

Monday, November 16, 2009

Signs of economic recovery are everywhere. Housing prices have bottomed out; the stock market has rallied; and capital markets are operating normally. Today, economists are debating whether or not the recession is over. When Obama took office, the debate was whether a sharp decline in economic activity would trigger more bank failures in a vicious cycle, culminating in a full scale depression. His policies have restored confidence and that is the most important thing. Others argue that his policies will seriously undermine the long-term growth of the US economy. Our fiscal outlook is so poor that inflation is likely, undermining faith in the dollar as a global reserve asset. Cap and trade legislation will make US industry less globally competitive; his health care proposals will leave us both poorer and less healthy; and the dramatic increase in taxes needed to pay for all this will discourage risk-taking and investing.

  • For the motion

    For

    Lawrence Mishel

    Research Director of the Economic Policy Institute

  • For the motion

    For

    Steve Rattner

    Former Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury

  • For the motion

    For

    Mark Zandi

    Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Moody's Analytics

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Eliot Spitzer

    Former Governor of the State of New York

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    Allan H. Meltzer

    University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University

  • Against the motion

    Against

    James K. Galbraith

    Professor of Government

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Mishel

For The Motion

Lawrence Mishel

Research Director of the Economic Policy Institute

came to the Economic Policy Institute in 1987. As EPI's first research director, then as vice president, and now president, he has played a significant role in building EPI's research capabilities and reputation. He is principal author of a major research volume, The State of Working America.

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Steve Rattner

For The Motion

Steve Rattner

Former Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury

served as counselor to the secretary of the Treasury until July 2009, and led the Administration’s efforts to restructure the auto industry. Prior to joining the Treasury Department in February 2009, he was a managing principal of Quadrangle Group LLC.

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Mark Zandi

For The Motion

Mark Zandi

Chief Economist and Co-Founder of Moody's Analytics

is a Chief Economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com, where he directs the company's research and consulting activities. Zandi was an economic adviser to Senator John McCain's campaign for president, has advised the Obama Administration, and testifies regularly before Congress.

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Spitzer

Against The Motion

Eliot Spitzer

Former Governor of the State of New York

is the former governor of the state of New York. He served eight years as New York attorney general and was named “Crusader of the Year” for his landmark settlement with ten of the nation’s largest securities firms over charges of misleading investors by Time magazine.

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Meltzer

Against The Motion

Allan H. Meltzer

University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University.

is the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of History of the Federal Reserve, Volume I: 1913-1951 (2002), a definitive research work on the Federal Reserve System.

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Galbraith

Against The Motion

James K. Galbraith

Professor of Government

holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Chair of Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, and a professorship in Government.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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    1 comment

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    • Comment Link G Tuesday, 20 November 2012 22:06 posted by G

      This was thoroughly enjoyable, thanks to IQ2 and the panel. I think it's notable several objections made by the parties arguing against the proposition were borne out, especially with respect to the momentum for more fundamental regulatory reform. While the discussion fell into a paradigm ("the perfect as enemy of the good") that often captures left-leaning discussions, the only notable ideological outlier, Dr. Meltzer, couldn't really have improved upon it.

      Not to speak unfairly, but he came off as cranky and hypocritical. His final point regarding US tariffs, which are retaliatory to well known violations of trade rules by China, seemed quite contradictory when he emphasized the necessity of greater net exports. Predatory actions by a trading partner looking to sustain a net trade deficit are precisely the sort of thing his earlier position would argue to overcome. His contribution is minor to the context of the debate, but it was salient in its failure to cogently express a valid right-leaning criticism of present economic policy.

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