US President Barack Obama accused the Republican opposition Tuesday of spreading "misinformation" about his jobs proposals, saying only the wealthiest Americans would pay more taxes.
Obama was on the second day of a campaign-style bus tour to rally support for his economic proposals, which have stalled in Congress, and to boost his appeal in two states critical to his 2012 re-election effort.
"I'm going to make a point here about taxes because there's been a lot of misinformation out there," Obama told a rally in Jamestown, North Carolina en route to neighboring Virginia.
"What we have said is, in order to pay for the jobs plan and to close our deficit, we should ask the very wealthiest Americans, top two percent, to pay a little bit more.
"I can afford it. Warren Buffett -- he can afford it. And the fact of the matter is that some of the wealthiest Americans pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans."
Obama said the vast majority of Americans would see a tax cut under the bill -- a $447 billion proposal aimed at reviving economic growth and curbing 9.1 percent unemployment.
"So don't be bamboozled. Don't fall for this notion that somehow the jobs act is proposing to raise your taxes. It's just not true," the president added.
"Our plan would mean nearly 11,000 education jobs right here in Virginia... So I need all of you to tell the Senate: put those teachers back to work. Put those teachers back to work. Pass the jobs bill and put those teachers back to work."
The White House has touted the jobs bill as a shot-in-the-arm for the economy, and accused Republicans of playing politics by blocking it.
Democrats have vowed to break the bill down and bring votes on each of its components.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was expected to announce that he will begin bringing parts of the legislation forward this week.
Republican lawmakers have slammed the bill as another government intervention bound to fail, insisting that the only way to revive the economy is to slash spending, lower taxes and ease regulations on corporations.
Obama said earlier that the Republican plan would "go back to the good old days before the financial crisis when Wall Street was writing its own rules. They want to roll back all the reforms that we put into place."
White House officials drew a strong connection between public frustrations on display in the spreading Occupy Wall Street protests and Republican efforts to roll back finance reforms.
Obama told supporters he is hoping for passage of the first portion of his plan, which would allocate $35 billion, in part to help maintain teaching jobs.
"Some people asked me yesterday why I was visiting Republican areas of North Carolina," he said.
"I'm not the Democratic president or Republican president: I'm the president... And we are in this together. We don't need a Republican jobs act or a Democratic jobs act: We need a jobs act. We need to put people back to work right now."
The Obama tour drew criticism from Republicans as a political effort.
"The president, I think, has become convinced that the economy is not likely to be much better a year from now. So he has started the campaign 13 months early and he's trying to convince the American people that it's anybody else's fault but his that we're where we are," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
"I don't think the American people are going to fall for it."