Former Goldman Sachs chief executive Henry Paulson was sworn in as the nation's 74th Treasury secretary.
Paulson, who was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, promised in his brief remarks to make sure that the country doesn't retreat from its role leading the world economy.
"The American economic system and our workers have always been winners and they will continue to win," Paulson said. "We need to pursue economic and regulatory policies that are responsive to today's world and to the challenges and goals you have set forward. As we pursue these goals, we must always remember that the strength of the U.S. economy is linked to the strength of the global economy."
President Bush, who selected Paulson to replace John Snow in the midst of a second-term shake-up of the Cabinet, attended the swearing-in ceremony at the Treasury and praised Paulson for giving up his lucrative job with the investment banking firm. In a statement, the president said that Paulson will serve as his leading policy advisor and the administration's top economic spokesman.
Paulson helmed Goldman Sachs for more than seven years and left the firm receiving more than $38 million in salary, stock and options for 2005. His new job's salary is set at $183,500.
"I am 100 percent committed to ... doing my best to ensure that our economy remains a model of strength, flexibility and openness," said Paulson, in a statement. He said that one of his first priorities would be forging relationships with the Treasury's workers.
The president's first Treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, complained publicly about the diminished standing given the post in the Bush administration before he resigned in 2003. Paulson's acceptance of the position was seen as a sign that he will have some policy-making clout, even as a relative Washington outsider.
Previously on WebCPA:
IRS Saves Paulson from Tax Hit (July 5, 2006)
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