VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The presidential election is one year from tomorrow, and the U.S. economy will likely be the top issue for voters.
It was also the subject of Regent University's ninth annual "Clash of the Titans" debate this weekend in Virginia Beach, Va.
The event pits heavyweights from opposite ends of the political spectrum against each other.
"No gouging, no biting, no kicking," CBN founder Dr. Pat Robertson told the panel. "Have a wonderful debate. I hope you come up with solutions to America's debt problem."
FOX News anchor Brett Baier moderated the debate, which centered on the size of government in solving the economic crisis.
Republicans want to downsize government, meaning less spending, lower taxes and fewer regulations. Democrats, on the other hand, want bigger government and even more spending to spur growth.
"What about the famous Obamacare? Truth is, it lets businesses, if they want to, do something they've never been allowed to do before. The public plan, that's a lot less than the cost you're now paying for worker," noted Larry Summer, former economic adviser to President Obama.
"What happens if the number of people, if Dr. Summers is right, and I think he is, and we have a much larger number of people dumped into the system and put on the taxpayer tab?" former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove rejoined.
"We'll have a trillion and a half or $2 trillion tab for this half of the program," he added. "That's why we need to repeal Obamacare."
The Titans all agree upon one thing: American is on a financial path that is unsustainable, and the stakes have never been higher.
This article originally appeared on CBN.com on Monday, October 31, 2011.