Elizabeth Warren pushes billionaire Bill Gates to his limit: I’ve paid more taxes than anyone

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is assuring one of the world’s richest people that her proposed wealth tax is not as bad as it seems.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate reached out to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, after his criticism of her plans, to promise that, as president, her proposed policy would not cost him $100 billion.


(Video: CNBC via YouTube)

 

Gates explained at a New York Times/Deal Book conference on Wednesday that, while he is not against paying taxes, he is not sure Warren’s idea of a wealth tax on net worth is something he could stand behind, even if it means not endorsing her against President Trump.

“I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes, I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” Gates told New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin at the forum.

“If I’d had to have paid $20 billion in taxes — fine. But, when you say I should pay $100 billion, okay I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” he said, laughing and adding that he was “just kidding.”

Sorkin asked the 64-year-old billionaire if he would be willing to meet with the Massachusetts senator and discuss his concerns over her proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy.

“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,” Gates replied.

He was also asked if, in the event Warren was able to secure the Democratic nomination, he would cast his vote for her or for Trump, despite his past criticisms of the president.

“I’m not going to make political declarations,” Gates said. “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.”

Warren ended up responding on Twitter, telling Gates that she would be happy to meet with him and would “love to explain exactly how much you’d pay under my wealth tax.”

No word yet on whether Gates will accept the Democrat’s offer but he has not been the only one skeptical — or even critical — of Warren’s policy proposals. The 2020 contender has claimed that her “ultra-millionaire tax” will bring in enough revenue to  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.”

Warren’s socialistic economic policy proposals are also reportedly giving Wall Street donors some concern, which is playing out in their reluctance to donate to Democratic Senate candidates.

Finance executives, in what is seen as a strong message to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are holding off in their donations over worries that Warren, who has repeatedly targeted Wall Street, will surge ahead in the race to secure the party’s presidential nomination.

Many other critics have warned that Warren’s wealth tax numbers do not add up and, according to an analysis from a think tank at George Mason University, her plan may not only be unconstitutional but “would certainly come with a number of challenges and negative economic consequences.”

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