President Obama touted his legacy in a fundraising swing last night in California. No one could argue, Obama maintained, that he has "not made significant progress" over the course of his presidency.
"By almost every economic measure, Americans are better off today than they were when I came into office. The unemployment rate has gone from 10 percent to 5.5 percent. People who had lost their savings in 401(k)s have seen them not just restored but exceeding where they were. The auto industry, which was flat-lining with the potential loss of a million jobs, now is thriving, even stronger than it was before the crisis. Housing has begun to recover," the president said, according to a White House transcript.
"We produce more energy than ever before. We doubled the production of clean energy -- wind power three times as much as when I came into office; solar 10 times as much, and as a consequence, we've actually been able to reduce our carbon emissions that cause climate change more than any other nation on Earth.
"High school graduations are up. College attendance is up. Reading scores are up. Sixteen million people have health insurance that didn’t have it before. The uninsured rate has never been lower in America. (Applause.)
"We've done all this and cut the deficit by two-thirds. And so there’s almost no measure by which one could argue that we have not made significant progress over these last six and a half years. But we've got so much work to do. There’s so much that's left undone. We still live in a country in which the idea of equal opportunity is not felt, is not experienced, is not lived for too many young people. Too many in our middle class have seen their incomes and wages flat-line even as their expenses go up. Too many young people are still priced out of college, and if they do go to college, are burdened with extraordinary debt.(Baby screams.) Yes! (Laughter and applause.) I think your folks are going to be able to pay for your college, but there are a lot of people who won't -- (applause.) Worried about it."