"So don't be discouraged -- we didn't get into this fix overnight, and we won't get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more," Obama said.
In an "interview" with users of the online news-and-comment website Reddit, President Obama took a question from someone who recently graduated from a "top law school" with big student loans to repay -- and can't find a job.
"While I'm sure my immediate prospects will improve in time, it's difficult to be optimistic about the future knowing that my ability to live a productive life -- to have a fulfilling career, to buy a house, to someday raise a family -- is hampered by my debt and the bleak economic outlook for young people."
The questioner said he knows many people who are similarly demoralized, particularly young people who campaigned for Obama in 2008: Why should they vote for Obama again? "What hope can you offer us for your second term?," the law school grad asked.
President Obama mentioned his health care law, the student loan bill, "advanced manufacturing," his green energy policy -- and tax hikes on the wealthy:
"You're right -- your long term prospects are great, but that doesn't help in the short term," Obama responded.
"Obviously some of the steps we have taken already help young people at the start of their careers. Because of the health care bill, you can stay on your parent's plan until you're twenty six. Because of our student loan bill, we are lowering the debt burdens that young people have to carry.
"But the key for your future, and all our futures, is an economy that is growing and creating solid middle class jobs -- and that's why the choice in this election is so important. The other party has two ideas for growth -- more tax cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we've put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers. These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse.
"I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than $250,000/year.
"I don't promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don't be discouraged - we didn't get into this fix overnight, and we won't get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more."
The top comment on the president's response: "This man is good with words and stuff."