US President Barack Obama pushed his plans for economic recovery Wednesday on a cross-country trip from Washington to a hard-hit region of southern California, dpa reported.
"What all of you know deep down - and what folks in Washington sometimes forget - is that in the end, a budget is not merely numbers on a page or a laundry list of programmes," Obama told a raucous crowd of 1,300 who attended a town-hall meeting in Costa Mesa.
"It is about your lives, your families and your dreams for the future. And you didn't send us to Washington to stand in the way of your aspirations. You didn't send us there to say no to change - you sent us there to get things done."
He said he backed increasing protection for credit-card users against overly high interest rates and reiterated his condemnation of bonuses paid to executives at failed insurance giant AIG, which the government has kept afloat.
Addressing other top issues in California, Obama said that he still backed immigration reform that would give an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
On Thursday, Obama is scheduled to hold another town-hall meeting, tour an electric-vehicle research facility and tape an interview for comedian Jay Leno's Tonight show.