From the president's appearance at a CNBC town hall meeting on the economy, when asked about concerns about growth in the size and scope of government:
Well, look, the truth of the matter is that the federal government is probably less intrusive now than it was 30 years ago. Our tax rates are lower now than they were under Ronald Reagan. They're much lower than they were under Dwight Eisenhower.
It is true that there are some areas that we regulate more. But you know what, the truth is everybody here probably thinks it's a pretty good idea that we regulate the food industry, for example, so we don't get E. coli and salmonella. Well, that requires somebody overseeing businesses -- most of whom are trying to do a good job, but some of them may not have the safety provisions in place to do that.
I think most people here think it is a good idea to make sure that you're not cheated if you are seeking a mortgage. Well, that requires some oversight. So we're always going to try to balance regulation with making sure that people can go about their business and go about their lives without a bunch of people meddling in it.