Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says he isn't against paying more in taxes, but suggested Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (Mass.) proposed "wealth tax" on net worth seems a bit too extreme.
What are the details?
Gates was asked about his thoughts on the prospect of a wealth tax during a New York Times/Deal Book conference on Wednesday, and answered, "I've paid over $10 billion in taxes, I've paid more than anyone in taxes. If I'd had to have paid $20 billion in taxes — fine. But, when you say I should pay $100 billion, okay I'm staring to do a little math about what I have left over."
Fox News reported that when Gates was asked whether he would be willing to sit down with Warren to discuss his views on taxes and the consequences of raising them too high, the billionaire said, "I'm not sure how open minded she is — or that she'd even be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money."
Warren then responded on Twitter that she would be happy to meet with Gates, and reassured him the price tag he would pay to the government under her plan wouldn't be nearly what he fears.
"I'm always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views," Warren tweeted. "@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.)"
Warren has campaigned heavily using her rallying cry that "it's time for the rich to pay their fair share." According to the Democrat, her "Ultra-millionaire tax" would rake in enough revenue to the federal government to fund an array of other ambitious proposals she has set forth.
Newsweek reported that the candidate claimed in April that her wealth tax could cover "universal child care for every baby, zero to five, universal pre-K, universal college and knock back the student loan burden for 95 percent of our students" with money left over.
But her critics — including several of her 2020 rivals — say the math doesn't add up. Beyond that, an analysis from the Mercatus Center determined that her wealth tax proposal (if implemented) "would certainly come with a number of challenges and negative economic consequences," while pointing out that it is likely unconstitutional.