Under the original plan, households with a net worth between $50m (£39m) and $1bn (£780m) will be charged with a 2% “wealth tax” every year. This would rise to 3% for any households with a net worth of over $1bn.
But last week, Ms Warren suggested doubling the latter rate – from 3% to 6%. She said the money raised from this new tax would be used to fund her healthcare plan, which is expected to cost the federal government $20.5tn over 10 years.
Mr Gates hit back at the idea during a talk at the New York Times DealBook conference in New York on Wednesday.
“I’m all for super-progressive tax systems,” he said. “I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine.
“But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” he added. “You really want the incentive system to be there without threatening that.”
(I don’t understand his statement that he has paid $10 billion in taxes. If he mostly let his Microsoft stock sit or donated it to his foundation, why did he have to pay capital gains tax? Certainly he would not have had a substantial amount of ordinary income that would attract the high ordinary income tax rates that he has advocated. Maybe the $10 billion is capital gains tax on venture capital investments that he made on which he was forced to exit, e.g., due to an acquisition? Plus some from selling Microsoft stock to diversify? Or he is referring to corporate taxes paid by Microsoft (see below) that he paid indirectly?)
He’s “all for super-progressive tax systems,” but with one exception!
- Microsoft’s pre-Trump corporate tax system: “By conducting sales from places with small populations and low tax rates, and routing some profit through virtually tax-free jurisdictions like Bermuda, Microsoft has cut billions of dollars from its tax bill over the last decade.”