Suffolk University’s Economics Department hosted a mock presidential debate this Tuesday at the Modern Theatre. Moderated by Dr. Robert Rosenthal, the event pitted two economists from The Beacon Hill Institute: Jonathan Haughton, Senior Economist and David Tuerck, Chair of the Economics Department at Suffolk. Each professor had to represent a presidential candidate, Haughton siding with Obama and Tuerck fighting for Romney.
The first segment of the debate concentrated on foreign policy. Tuerck said that “the difference between Romney and Obama is that Romney will defeat radical Islam.” Meanwhile, “Obama believes that the war is not real…much like a video game, zap here, zap there and the problem is gone.” On the defense, Haughton said that “Romney has no idea about foreign policy.” He cited his involvement in the Olympics games and the “confusion” with Israel and Palestine. According to Haughton, Romney’s policies are “completely the reverse” of what he is advertising.
“The truth is that Palestinians are not going for a two-state approach,” said Tuerck “they want to deny the Israelites.” He enforced Romney’s belief that as long as “Palestinians continue to murder Israelites” there will not be a two-state solution. On the other hand Haughton pushed for Obama’s method of denying Prime Minister Netanyahu the ability to divide the country. He does not want to give Netanyahu the power to start a U.S.-backed conflict. In contrast, Tuerck focused on the left’s insistence to “sympathize” with enemies of Israel. The conversations moved on to what both sides agreed was the biggest threat in the Middle East: Iran. It is a country “run by psychopaths” according to Tuerck. “It is a real nuclear threat and Obama will just leave them hanging. A blockade will get their attention.” However, Houghton said that it “is far more dangerous to be saber rattling” against a country like Iran.
The second segment focused on domestic policy and broke down into several segments. First off was the talk about jobs, with the recent unemployment numbers taking center court. Tuerck voiced Romney’s stance on feeding “American businesses that are standing on billions of dollars of untapped revenue. You don’t grow an economy by being nice to the poor.” The right-wing economic plan proposed by Romney seeks to end the “preposterous green energy” program and fix a job market that was “ruined by Obama’s policy.”
Houghton backed the idea that economic focus should be placed on education and infrastructure. He attacked the concept of lowering all taxes by stating that something must give in the end. “Romney’s approach is living in la-la land,” said Houghton. He backed democratic views on democracy, stating that there is “no need to spend five percent of our GDP on military development, much less encompass 45 percent of the world’s military spending.”
Once the debate had reached it’s time limit, Dr. Rosenthal said that what was just witnessed is a debate where two candidates “talk about issues that affect people’s lives.” If someone supports a different party “they are not evil people, they just have different visions.”