Immigration — something I mentioned — we have not gotten done. It’s something I care deeply about. It’s the right thing for the country. I want to get that done while I’m President. Energy — we haven’t talked a lot about energy today, but first of all, $4-a-gallon gas really hurts a lot of people around this country. It’s not because they’re wasteful, but if you’re driving 50 miles to work and that’s the only job you can find, and you can’t afford some hybrid so you’re stuck with the old beater that you’re driving around that gets eight miles a gallon, these gas prices are killing you right now. And so this is the reason why I’ve said that it is so important for us to invest in new approaches to energy. We’ve got to have a long-term plan. It means investing in things like solar and wind, investing in biofuels, investing in clean car technology. It means converting the federal fleet 100% to fuel-efficient vehicles, because we’re a huge market maker. Obviously it turns out that I’ve got a lot of cars as President.
And if we’re out there purchasing electric cars and hybrids, that can help boost demand and drive down prices. Continuing to increase fuel-efficiency standards on cars; increasing oil production but in an intelligent way. I mean, those are all hugely important. And by the way, we can pay for it. Let me say this. We lose — the Treasury loses $4 billion a year on subsidies to oil companies.
Now, think about this. The top five oil companies have made somewhere between $75 billion and $125 billion every year for the last five years. Nobody is doing better than Exxon. Nobody is doing better than Shell or these other companies. They are doing great. They are making money hand over fist. Well, maybe Facebook is doing a little better. But you get the idea. They’re doing really well. They don’t need special tax breaks that cost us $4 billion. So what we’ve said is, why can’t we eliminate the tax breaks for the oil companies who are doing great, and invest that in new energy sources that can help us save the planet?
So when it comes to energy, when it comes to immigration, when it comes to getting our deficit under control in a balanced and smart way, when it comes to improving our math and science education, when it comes to reinvesting in our infrastructure, we’ve just got a lot more work to do.
And I guess my closing comment, Mark, would just be I hope that everybody here — that you don’t get frustrated and cynical about our democracy. I mean, it is frustrating. Lord knows it’s frustrating. And I know that some of you who might have been involved in the campaign or been energized back in 2008, you’re frustrated that, gosh, it didn’t get done fast enough and it seems like everybody is bickering all the time. Just remember that we’ve been through tougher times before. We’ve always come out ascendant, we’ve always come out on top, because we’ve still got the best universities in the world, we’ve still got the most productive workers in the world, this is still the most dynamic, entrepreneurial culture in the world. If we come together, we can solve all these problems. But I can’t do it by myself. The only way it happens is if all of you still get involved, still get engaged. It hasn’t been that long since Election Day, and we’ve gone through some very, very tough times and we’ve still gotten a lot done. We’ve still been able to get this economy recovering. We’ve still been able to get health care passed. We’ve still been able to invest in clean energy. We’ve still been able to make sure that we overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell.” We still made sure that we got two women on the Supreme Court. We’ve made progress.
So rather than be discouraged, I hope everybody is willing to double down and work even harder. Regardless of your political affiliation, you’ve got to be involved, especially the young people here, your generation. If you don’t give us a shove, if you don’t give the system a push, it’s just not going to change. And you’re going to be the ones who end up suffering the consequences. But if you are behind it, if you put the same energy and imagination that you put into Facebook into the political process, I guarantee you there’s nothing we can’t solve. All right?
Thank you, Mark.