I went to Arizona and California

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For the past few weeks, I’ve been visiting folks across America to talk about what we need to do as a country to secure a better bargain for the middle class.

I’ve been laying out my ideas for how we can build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America.  A good job.  A good education.  Affordable health care when you get sick.  A secure retirement even if you’re not rich.  And the chance to own your own home.

This week, two of the states hit hardest when the housing bubble burst, triggering the recession.  All across the country, millions of responsible Americans were hurt badly by the reckless actions of others.  Home values plummeted. Construction workers were laid off.  And many families lost their homes.

Over the past four years, we’ve worked to help millions of responsible homeowners get back on their feet.  And while we’re not where we need to be yet, our housing market is beginning to heal.  Home prices and sales are rising. Construction is up.  Foreclosures are down.  Millions of families have come up for air because they’re no longer underwater on their mortgages.

Now we have to build on this progress.  Congress should give every American the chance to refinance at today’s low rates.  We should help more qualified families get a mortgage and buy their first home.  We should get construction workers back on the job rebuilding communities hit hardest by the crisis.  And we should make sure that folks who don’t want to buy a home have  decent, affordable places to rent.


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