03/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Summers Slams Mitch McConnell For 'History Lecture'

One of the top economic advisers to President Barack Obama is warning that the U.S. economy is in the worst shape that most economists have ever experienced, and says aggressive action must be taken to turn it around.

The director of the White House National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, says that a "large, forthright" approach is needed.

Summers says more federal money needs to be funneled to state and local governments to ward off a downward spiral that he warns could be catastrophic.

Failure to do that, Summers says, could lead to a vicious cycle of layoffs, falling home values, lower property tax revenues and then even more layoffs.

Shown a clip of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell questioning the New Deal, Summers replied, "The people who presided over the last eight years" don't "seem to be in a strong position to lecture on history."

Summers spoke Sunday on ABC's "This Week" program.

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