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US economy better positioned for future: Obama

January 11, 2013 09:15 IST

US President Barack Obama has said that owing to some "tough measures" taken by his administration, the American economy is better positioned for tomorrow than most of the other countries hit by the financial crisis.

"The fact is that while a lot of work remains, especially to rebuild a strong middle class and offer working folks new pathways to rise into the middle class, our economy is better positioned for tomorrow than most of those other countries hit by the financial crisis," Obama said.

He was speaking at a White House event to announce the nomination of Jack Lew as his next Treasury Secretary.

The tough decisions outgoing Secretary Timothy Geithner made and carried out deserve a lot of credit for this improvement in the US economy, Obama said.

A close confidant, Lew is currently Obama's Chief of Staff.

Announcing Lew's nomination, which needs to be confirmed by the US Senate like other Cabinet appointments, Obama praised Geithner for rescuing the country from its worst economic crisis in generations.

"When the history books are written, Tim Geithner's going to go down

as one of our finest secretaries of the treasury," Obama said.

He said the US economy is back on growth path for past three years and country's businesses have created nearly six million new jobs.

"The money that we spent to save the financial system has largely been paid back. We put in place rules to prevent that kind of financial meltdown from ever happening again, an auto industry was saved, we made sure taxpayers are not on the hook if the biggest firms fail again," he said.

He said steps have been to help underwater homeowners come up for air and open new markets to sell American goods overseas.

Obama said the economy has began to reduce its deficit through a balanced mix of spending cuts and reforms to the tax code, which, he noted was earlier more inclined towards helping America's rich class.

Endowing "complete trust" on Lew, Obama said the new Treasury Secretary has the distinction of having worked and succeeded in some of the toughest jobs in Washington and the private sector.

"I trust his judgment. I value his friendship. Jack has my complete trust," he said.

In his remarks, Geithner lauded Obama for his efforts towards reviving the US economy.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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