Former chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee said there is a “fundamental choice” on the economy between the two parties in this upcoming election, and the right approach is the president’s which says “let’s address the deficit in balanced way.”
Joining him to discuss the state of the economy and the role it has in the upcoming election was chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Ryan, who is rumored to be among those on Mitt Romney’s list for vice president, said following the president’s policy prescriptions for the economy has resulted in stagnation.
“We don’t think the government should be in the position of picking winners and losers in the economy,” Ryan said, arguing that getting government out of the private sector would aid economic recovery.
Goolsbee argued that the president’s policies are geared toward strengthening the middle class.
“The Obama approach is better, it is not a government directed approach. He believes the main driver of the economy is the middle class,” Goolsbee said.
Both guests also addressed the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s record as governor and as head of Bain Capital.
Critics charge that Romney and his firm reaped huge profits at the expense of working men and women. The Obama campaign has highlighted one particular company, GST Steel, that went bankrupt in 2001, after Romney had left Bain.
Ryan defended Romney, pointing out that the steel industry was bleeding jobs at the time and arguing that Bain invested in the company in a good faith effort to revive it.
The congressman also tried to make a distinction between Bain, using private capital to take a chance, and the president, who Ryan argues is gambling with taxpayer dollars when the administration chooses to invest in companies such as Solyndra.
Goolsbee countered that Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts, which ranked 47th in job creation under Romney, together with his tenure at Bain, show that his approach to the economy has not been successful.