Microsoft founder Bill Gates criticized 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday and refused to rule out voting for President Donald Trump over her.
Speaking to New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin at a conference in New York, Gates said that he supports “super-progressive tax systems” and an estate tax. But he was still skeptical of Warren’s proposed wealth tax, saying there is a limit to what he would be willing to pay.
“I’ve [already] paid over $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” said Gates, who has also given away tens of billions through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “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.”
Gates said that “if you tax too much, you do risk” discouraging “capital formation” and “innovation” in the United States.
When Sorkin asked Gates if you would consider sitting down with the Massachusetts senator, the billionaire doubted she would want to hear from a rich person like him.
“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,” he said.
By contrast, Gates has previous praised Trump as “open-minded” — though he has also privately taken shots at the president.