Clarke Dryden Camper is Senior Vice President, Head of Government Affairs and Public Advocacy at NYSE Euronext, a...
Who does Mitt Romney listen to when it comes to the economy – the issue that will in all likelihood define the presidential election? Romney’s economic brain trust is led by two former chairmen of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors, R. Glenn Hubbard and Greg Mankiw.
Hubbard chaired the Bush economic team from 2001 to 2003 and is currently the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. In a Washington Post interview last fall, Hubbard suggested the U.S. needs a “radical change” in economic policy, “something dramatic.” He called for “mass refinancing for home mortgages” and a “big corporate rate cut” that would “dramatically improve the profitability of future investments.”
According to Hubbard: “There’s a complete lack of clarity in three important areas for government policy: The path of future tax rates. The path of government spending … and the third is regulation, financial regulation in particular. And the lack of clarity in those areas has frozen business [investment].
Mankiw served as chairman of the Bush Council of Economic Advisors from 2003 to 2005 and is currently a Professor of Economics at Harvard University and is slated to take over as chair of the Harvard economics department in July. He is a prolific blogger and his “random observations” was ranked as the number one economics blog by U.S. economics professors.
Of course, experience at high levels of government can cut both ways. In a Washington Post column, Ezra Klein suggests the Romney team “seems to have forgotten” about the economic crisis under their former boss and that “reading Romney’s policies, you would never know that the nation is still facing high unemployment rates or that it just came through the worst financial crisis in a generation.”