Geithner Rejects Claim of an ‘Unsustainable Recovery’

Treasury Secretary Timothy GeithnerU.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said today that the U.S. economy is growing and the private sector is adding jobs, although the “enormous amount of damage” already done will likely keep the unemployment rate near its current level.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Geithner dismissed Republican arguments that the recovery is “unsustainable” because much of the job growth is government generated, some of it through temporary hiring for the U.S. Census.
The Labor Department said today that 162,000 jobs were created in March, the most in three years, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent.
“That’s just a political argument,” Geithner said, referring to the Republican position. “We have an economy now that’s been growing at a significant rate for three quarters, and we’re seeing the private sector create jobs on a significant scale.”
Geithner added that President Obama’s “forceful, difficult, complicated and sometimes unpopular actions he took to fix the mess he inherited” has started to restore confidence among consumers and businesses.
But Geithner cautioned that much work needs to be done, particularly with Congress to support expansion of credit to small businesses and the continuing fine-tuning of foreclosure prevention efforts to stabilize the housing market.
The administration’s foreclosure rescue campaign has come under fire for not helping enough desperate homeowners, or not addressing underlying issues such as negative equity.
The unemployment rate is “high still because this crisis has caused an enormous amount of damage,” Geithner said. “We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression. And it’s going to take some time for us to heal the damage for that rate to come down.”

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