President: Look, first of all, everybody should have complete confidence in the banks. They’re deposits are protected. They shouldn’t be putting it in their mattresses. I will leave it up to others to provide individual, personal financial advice.
But I will say this, that if you’re working right now, obviously you’ve got to be prudent and you’ve got to recognize that the economy has been in a tough way. But, you know, we’ve still got kids who are going to need a coat for winter or a computer for school. You know, that young family is still going to at some point need to buy a house. And right now cars, for example, we know that typically you need about 14 million cars for this population —- and right now only 9 million are being sold every year. So at some point those inventories are going to run down and people are going to start buying cars again.
So, you know, what people should not do is forget that what has built America has always been a faith and a confidence in the future. And our future is bright if we take some smart steps right now. And that’s what we’re working on in Washington. And I think if everybody stays focused on getting through these tough times, the future is going to be very bright for all of us.
Leno: Now, you mentioned cars a minute ago. You went to the electric car, you went to look at some batteries today.
The President: I did. It’s spectacular what is being down now with plug-in hybrids, where not only are you getting the hybrid technology, but now you can plug it in at home in your garage. And potentially we could see cars getting 150 miles to a gallon of gas.
And when you get home you could potentially sell the energy in your car back into the grid, back to your utility and get money.
So we’re going to be investing billions of dollars in research and development around these technologies. I know that you were mentioning you’ve got a hydrogen car —-
Leno: I’ve got the GM hydrogen car. That’s a whole new —
The President: That’s a whole new level of technology. That’s what’s going to create the auto industry of the future. That’s where we’re going to win back manufacturing. But right now we’re behind. These batteries are being made in Japan —- just like wind power is being made in Europe. We need to bring that here, and that’s part of what my budget and part of what our Recovery Act is all about.
Leno: Let me ask you some personal things. Now, how cool is it to fly in Air Force One? (Laughter.)
The President: Now, let me tell you, I personally think it’s pretty cool. Especially because they give you, you know, the jacket with the seal on it. (Laughter.)
Leno: Oh, yeah. See, I still get the little wings when I fly.
The President: So you have the jacket. I will tell you,