He said Congress must act against the so-called fiscal cliff, a package of tax rises and spending cuts due early next year.
But in a duelling news conference, Republican House Speaker John Boehner said tax rises would not be acceptable.
Budget analysts warn the US will tip into recession unless a deal is struck.
Mr Obama has repeatedly called for the affluent to pay more, but such a plan is anathema to Republicans.
The fiscal cliff would see the expiry of George W Bush-era tax cuts at the end of 2012, combined with automatic, across-the-board reductions to military and domestic spending. (+ videos) » | Friday, November 09, 2012