WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – “For almost every American family there are scars from the deep recession,” said Secretary Jack Lew Wednesday in an interview with CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley.
Lew, President Obama’s former chief of staff, began his term as Secretary of the Treasury roughly five months ago. In many ways, he has become the Obama administration’s economy point man and wants to keep the economy growing.
“Economics is really a lot of collective psychology,” said Lew. “When people feel better about the future, they act better and the economy picks up. When people worry it also has an effect on the economy.”
The secretary said he has job in Washington and in public policy to make the right decisions. He said the goal is to keep the economy growing and keep opportunities for the American middle class growing.
Recent data from the Federal Reserve shows the number of part-time jobs growing and the decrease in full-time jobs. Lew noted that a number of things in the economy over the last couple of decades have changed in terms of the kinds of jobs people have and the way employers fill out their labor force.
“I think that we are seeing the overall unemployment rate fall,” explained Lew. “I actually think the core of the U.S. economy is showing the resilience that gives reason to be confident about America’s future.”
On top of being the new treasury secretary, Lew also oversees the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Allegations have been recently made that political Tea Party organizations applying for tax exempt status were targeted.
Last week retired IRS attorney Carter Hull testified in a congressional investigation that he was asked to pass applications from Tea Party organizations up to the IRS Office of General Counsel in Washington. Hull’s testimony raised the question of whether the agency’s general counsel was involved. This position is also appointed by the president.
“There has been no evidence of anyone in a political position having been involved in any of those decision,” said Lew.