Legislation to enact the "Buffett Rule" calls for Americans who make one million dollars per year or more to pay at least 30% of their income in taxes. The measure, crafted by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, is virtually sure to fail when it comes to a vote in the Senate on April 16.
The proposal would raise an estimated $47 billion over ten years, a drop in the bucket of government spending but enough, Obama said, to spend money on student loans, scientific research, or infrastructure that could bolster the economy.
Obama also worked to shore up his free-market bona fides after three years in which conservatives have accused him of having a government-knows-best philosophy and embracing a "class warfare" reelection strategy, or even accusing him of being a Socialist.
"I start from the belief that government cannot, and should not, try to solve every single problem that we've got," he said. "Government's not the answer to everything."
"I believe the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history," he stressed.
"I want folks to get rich in this country," Obama said. "I think it's wonderful when people are successful. That's part of the American dream."
As for the social safety net, and government spending on education, infrastructure, health care, and scientific research, "this is not some Socialist dream," but an approach backed by generations of Republicans and Democrats alike, he said.
More popular Yahoo! News stories:
Want more of our best political stories? Visit The Ticket or connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or add us on Tumblr. Handy with a camera? Join our Election 2012 Flickr group to submit your photos of the campaign in action.