Newly minted Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the U.S. economy, while stronger than predicted, will face a number of long-term hurdles including reformation of entitlement programs and uneven income distribution. Paulson delivered his remarks before students and academics at Columbia Business School here.

"The U.S. economy is on a more solid footing, and is stronger than most of us would have predicted. The unemployment rate has held below 5 percent for seven straight months, and we have seen 5.4 million new jobs created since August 2003," said Paulson.

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