Bill Gates challenges Elizabeth Warren to discuss wealth tax, and she calls his bluff

The New York Times Conferences / YouTube Bill Gates One On One 1573228964.jpg...
The New York Times Conferences / YouTube

Retired billionaire Bill Gates sat for an interview with columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin at the The New York Times DealBook Conference on Wednesday. During the interview, Gates said he was all for more progressive taxation of wealth in our society and believed that more “transparency” was needed to expose how large companies and individuals are able to protect wealth from taxation. But for all of his lip service to the concept of more “progressive” taxation policies, Gates didn’t want to endorse anything resembling a progressive tax policy.

BILL GATES: You know, I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes, you know I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. But you know, I’m glad to, you know have paid them, if I had had to pay $20 billion it’s fine, you know? But, you know, when you say I should pay $100 billion, okay, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over. Sorry, I’m just kidding. So you really want the incentive system to be there and you can go a long ways without threatening that.

Fine. That’s his opinion. Most people don’t exactly agree with his opinions because most people haven’t seen any of the benefits from the “incentive system” that the rich keep arguing will disappear if they are taxed. However, when Sorkin followed that up by asking if Gates had spoken to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (he hasn’t) and whether or not he would want to sit down to talk with one of the leading Democratic politicians in the country about her taxation plan, Gates was sort of shitty about it.

GATES: You know I’m not sure how open minded she is. Or if she would be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money.

Because she has a plan for that, Sen. Warren called Gates’ bluff on Twitter.

I’m always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views.

@BillGates, if we get the chance, I’d love to explain exactly how much you’d pay under my wealth tax. (I promise it’s not $100 billion.)

Gates replied because his mentions probably went through the roof.

Here’s an important note. Billionaires and financial “gurus” calling out Sen. Warren’s tax or Sen. Bernie Sanders’ assertion that there should be no billionaires need to realize one thing: There are a few billion of us and just a couple thousand of you guys—and it’s almost all guys. No one has ever earned a billion dollars. The only person that would be worth a billion dollars is the person who cures childhood cancer, ends world hunger, or does away with poverty. And I will bet you all that I might ever “earn” in this life that that person would not want nor would they accept a billion dollars worth of anything for that work.

If being heavily taxed on hundreds of millions of dollars is going to sap your hunger to build businesses and still be wealthier than most everybody else, then there is a fear inside of you that no amount of money will ever quell.

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5 Comments on "Bill Gates challenges Elizabeth Warren to discuss wealth tax, and she calls his bluff"

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Lone Wolf
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Lone Wolf

greed has no bounds and/or limits

John R. Frain
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John R. Frain

Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Rutokin
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Rutokin

Hey Bill can you spare a buck or two

Lon Levine
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Lon Levine

He gives away money on facebook all the time; haven’t you seen?

Alfred Higgins
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Alfred Higgins

The U.S. thoroughly possesses the wealth and resources to solve most, if not all, of our domestic problems, including poverty and health care deficiencies. What is lacking is the political will to restructure fairness of income and wealth distribution, mostly driven by insatiable greed, narcissism, and lack of empathy. Gates may be a generous billionaire, but at heart, he knows that only he can make the decisions necessary to solve the world’s problems.