Bill Gates, the world’s richest man for nearly two decades, says he has paid over $10 billion in taxes, adding that he is willing to pay as much as $20 billion.
Speaking about the US 2020 elections and the tax policies between the Democrats and the Republicans, Gates said he is willing to follow anyone who comes to the tax debate professionally.
Elizabeth Warren of the Democratic Party is proposing a six percent tax on billionaires, while the Republican is cutting down on taxes, but Gates says he would say somewhere in the middle.
Speaking to this, Gates said: “I think the span of the two parties in terms of where they are in taxation has never been so broad you have one party reducing corporate taxes, you know, still supporting carried interest, taxes on capital or way way less than on labor… and now on the other side you have as you say a six percent wealth tax”.
“I happen to believe something in the middle, you know, I think you can make the estate tax higher. You could even take people have sat on huge gains for you know, say ten years and say, okay that there you should create a taxation event there.
“I think just by treating capital income the same as labor income that goes on very long distance, so I’m all for super progressive tax systems you do need to couple these things with more transparency the fact that you can through trust-like structures hide, lots of you know, beneficial ownership and get away with a lot.
“I’m impressed that there are a few candidates that go even beyond my view and I do think of you taxed too much you do risk capital formation innovation, the US is the desirable place to do innovative companies.
“Somebody can say, I’m very biased and type in a prime beneficiary of the existing system, but you know, I’d love to somebody to find a middle ground.
“You know, I’ve, Paid over 10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes, but I’m glad to have, you know, if I’d had to pay $20 billion it’s fine, but you know when you say I should pay a hundred billion, okay, then I’m starting to do a little math about. What I have left over, sorry.”
When asked to choose between Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump, Gates said: “I’m not gonna make political declarations but I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind, I do think a professional approach to the office, whoever I decide would have the more professional approach in the current situation.”
Gates said he would never run for president in the US, stating that he was good at what he is currently doing.
“Well, I am good at innovation, you know backing scientists whether it’s climate change or HIV or malnutrition. That’s what I’m good at and it’s very much a full-time job.
“Orchestrating the resources and them and there’s a breakthrough making sure it gets out to all the kids in the world who need it. This is this work that I do in partnership with Melinda and great team at the Foundation and many other co-founders.
“This is my life’s work. This is my current life’s work. I have two careers; my Microsoft career and this career, and it will take all of the years. That’s the thing that I’ll put all my remaining energy into.”
Gates has donated more than $50 billion to development causes around the world, with more than $5 billion every year through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The 64-year-old is two to three countries away from eradicating polio in the world, making it the second disease in human history to have been eradicated.