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Obama advisor Christina Romer launches debate series

By Marissa Lynch and Andrea OrdonezSpecial to the Chronicle and Managing Editor

Dr. Christina Romer, former chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors under Obama, kicked off the Debate 2012: Pride, Politics and Policy by listing out problem after problem with the U.S. economy. Despite mentioning the current unemployment rate, a healthcare market that could face rising costs in coming years and a rising deficit, Romer gave an unexpected piece of advice. “Everything is about timing,” she said. “Go slowly.” To a crowd at Adams Playhouse, Romer emphasized the desires of both President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to fix the economy. “There’s a tremendous agreement that we’ve got to do something,” Romer said in regards to Romney and Obama’s approaches to current economic crisis. Both want corporate tax reform, a solution for healthcare spending and lower unemployment, but how they handle these matters is what divides them. Senior political science major Jesse Crosson noted the overall balance of Romer’s lecture. “I thought Romer delivered a fair-minded, well-organized lecture that really captured the differences--and similarities--of conservative and liberal approaches to the economy,” said Crosson. After listing clear distinctions between the two candidates’ approaches, Romer emphasized that voters should take time to evaluate the suggested policies of both sides. “Good policy can make an incredible difference,” said Romer. “It’s your voting, it’s your writing to your congressmen and saying, ‘For heaven’s sake, do something about this.’” Along with voting, Romer talked about the importance of education and its relation to employment. “The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the jobs that are there,” said Romer. “And I think more generally, invest in yourself, get a good education, get some experience. To get that experience, to get that foot in the door is incredibly important.” Debate 2012: Pride, Politics and Policy continues next week with a visit from Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on September 19.

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