Lew: Obama's economic critics have been 'proven wrong'

Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system MORE said Monday that critics who argue the Obama administration was hurting the economy have been “proven wrong.”

In an interview with CNBC, Lew said that the U.S. economy has “really turned the corner” and is now enjoying sustainable growth. While Republicans blasted the administration for years as pushing onerous regulations and job-killing policies, Lew said the facts say otherwise.

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“The facts have proven them wrong,” he said, citing progress in jobs, housing, and a declining deficit.

“I think that the critics who said all these things, we’re going to hurt the economy, have been proven wrong,” he said.

On Friday, the Labor Department reported the economy added 257,000 jobs in January, a remarkably strong report that was the latest in a series of positive tidings for the economy. Of particular importance in that report was a 0.5 percent increase in hourly wages, suggesting economic gains may finally be beginning to be more broadly felt by the middle class.

Lew said while wages have made some gains, there needs to be more “for people to really feel it.”

He touted President Obama’s efforts to boost infrastructure spending, education initiatives and business tax reform, as ways to help more Americans feel the growth of the economy.