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Strong economy should boost wages, Snow says

Treasury Secretary John Snow said the steadily expanding economy should start generating good news about incomes and jobs.
/ Source: Reuters

Treasury Secretary John Snow said Monday that a steadily expanding economy has reached a point where it should start generating good news about incomes and jobs.

“We’re about at a tipping point here where we’re going to see much improvement in wage rates and compensation,” Snow said in an interview on CNBC television.

The Treasury chief was one of a series of Bush administration officials participating in a media blitz aimed at highlighting positive developments on the economy.

Earlier Monday, President Bush pointed to faster-than-expected growth and other positive economic news to try to counter pessimism shown in opinion polls among Americans about the outlook for the U.S. economy.

In response to questions, Snow said the Bush administration was making progress in getting short-term budget deficits under control but said it had to concentrate on reducing long-term deficits.

“There’s no doubt that we’re bringing the short-term deficit under control,” Snow said. “The real issue is those long-term deficits” like those arising from the need to provide funding for Social Security in future.

Snow said reforming the national tax code remained a priority for the Bush administration but declined to say when it might happen.

He turned aside a question whether he was pleased about the dollar’s appreciation against Japan’s yen. The dollar was at a 32-month high against the yen on Monday.

In a separate appearance on Bloomberg television, Snow who is approaching three years on the job as U.S. Treasury chief, declined to say whether he intends to stay on.
“I am pleased to serve in this capacity, it’s a great honor and that’s a matter for a private conversation between me and the president,” Snow said when asked whether he was “going to be around” in 2006.

The White House claims there is a “disconnect” between generally positive economic news, including last Friday’s report that 215,000 jobs were created in November, and polls that show Americans do not feel optimistic.

An ABC/Washington Post poll taken in the month ended Nov. 13 showed 64 percent of Americans described the economy as poor or not so good, with only 36 percent judging it good or excellent.