Obama tells rich: Keep your fancy homes

August 4, 2014: 2:21 PM ET
obama economist
Obama says in an interview that he's not out to get the rich.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

President Barack Obama said that the fancy homes and corporate jets of the rich don't bother him.

In an interview with The Economist last week the President said when he brings up income inequality, he's not trying to "stir class resentment" like his political opponents say.

"Feel free to keep your house in the Hamptons and your corporate jet ... I'm not concerned about how you're living," he said.

However, he said he obsesses with the fact that under his watch those at the top are getting a larger and larger share of the economy, whereas middle-class and working-class families are stuck.

"Their wages and incomes are stagnant. They've been stagnant for almost two decades now," he said.

Related: Jobs are starting to come back, but pay isn't

Obama started his presidency amid the worst recession since the Great Depression, and he pointed out how much the country has improved since then.

"Our policies have produced a record stock market, record corporate profits, 52 months of consecutive job growth, 10 million new jobs ... an energy sector that's booming ... a housing market that has bounced back ... I think you'd have to say that we've managed the economy pretty well," he said.

Related: The economic recovery measured in 17 charts

U.S. economy back on track

Obama agreed that both his signature acts - healthcare and financial reform - could have been simpler. But he admitted elegance was hard to achieve in Washington.

"This goes back to the old adage of Churchill—democracy is the worst form of government except for all the alternatives," he said. "It's messy."

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