Elizabeth Warren offers to explain her wealth tax to Bill Gates

Maanvi Singh
The billionaire balked at Warren’s tax policies during a conference Wednesday, prompting a response from the Democratic candidate. Elizabeth Warren, who has welcomed, and even rejoiced in the ire of billionaires who oppose her plans to tax the wealthy, can now count the second richest person in the world among her skeptics. Speaking at the New York Times DealBook conference on Wednesday, Bill Gates balked at Warren’s tax policies. “I’ve paid over $10bn in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” he said. “If I had to pay $20bn, it’s fine.” “But when you say I should pay $100bn, then I’m starting to do a little math over what I have leftover.” Warren, who has proposed a 6% tax on wealth over 10 figures, reassured Gates that he wouldn’t have to pay $100bn, and offered to meet with him to explain. At the conference, Gates had 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 responded: “I’m always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views.” Despite being a vocal critic of Donald Trump, Gates also wouldn’t commit to supporting Warren in a hypothetical race between her and Trump: “I’m not going to make political declarations. But I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind … whoever I decide will have the more professional approach in the current situation, probably is the thing I will weigh the most. And I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.” Critics pointed out that the Microsoft founder and philanthropist would still remain extremely wealthy under Warren’s plan. And even if he were to pay that much, he’d still have some money left over. This isn’t the first time Warren has contended with disgruntled billionaires. Last week, the billionaire money manager Leon Cooperman exchanged tense words with Warren on Twitter and sent her a letter criticizing her “vilification of the rich”. “Leon can and should pitch in more,” she responded, “so that every kid has the same opportunities he did to succeed”.

Elizabeth Warren, who has welcomed, and even rejoiced in the ire of billionaires who oppose her plans to tax the wealthy, can now count the second richest person in the world among her skeptics.

Speaking at the New York Times DealBook conference on Wednesday, Bill Gates balked at Warren’s tax policies. “I’ve paid over $10bn in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” he said. “If I had to pay $20bn, it’s fine.” “But when you say I should pay $100bn, then I’m starting to do a little math over what I have leftover.”

Warren, who has proposed a 6% tax on wealth over 10 figures, reassured Gates that he wouldn’t have to pay $100bn, and offered to meet with him to explain.

At the conference, Gates had 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 responded: “I’m always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views.”

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Despite being a vocal critic of Donald Trump, Gates also wouldn’t commit to supporting Warren in a hypothetical race between her and Trump: “I’m not going to make political declarations. But I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind … whoever I decide will have the more professional approach in the current situation, probably is the thing I will weigh the most. And I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.”

Critics pointed out that the Microsoft founder and philanthropist would still remain extremely wealthy under Warren’s plan.

And even if he were to pay that much, he’d still have some money left over.

This isn’t the first time Warren has contended with disgruntled billionaires. Last week, the billionaire money manager Leon Cooperman exchanged tense words with Warren on Twitter and sent her a letter criticizing her “vilification of the rich”.

“Leon can and should pitch in more,” she responded, “so that every kid has the same opportunities he did to succeed”.