Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, said Sunday that wealthy Americans, such as himself, who earn million annually should pay significantly more taxes than they pay currently.
Gates made the statement while on CNN Sunday, arguing that the tax rate for the richest Americans is too low, putting the majority of the tax burden on lower and middle class people instead.
The former Microsoft CEO has paid more than $10 billion in taxes, according to The Hill, but said people with higher incomes are receiving disproportionate benefits from the current tax plan.
“The government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes,” he said, according to The Hill. Gates described the bill as “regressive,” and pointed out that one-sixth of Americans are living in poverty even as the government cuts taxes on the wealthy, according to Straits Times.
Gates has a net worth of almost $100 billion dollars. But the software engineer is not the only billionaire advocating for the government to increase his taxes.
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has a net worth of nearly $90 billion and has long advocated for an increase in taxes for the highest bracket. In October, Buffett protested President Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan, which would significantly cut taxes to corporations and the wealthy compared to lower and middle class citizens who would need increasing help with IRS tax problems.
Trump’s bill, which was narrowly approved in Congress and signed in December, removed the alternative minimum tax and will remove the estate tax, a tax that exclusively affects wealthy Americans. Buffett said neither of those taxes should have been removed, as they would enable growing inequality and resource hoarding, according to CNBC.
“I sure don’t think it’s good for a society where there’s a ton of inequality to start with. I think that’s a terrible mistake,” Buffett said in an interview with CNBC last year.
A 2014 survey of American millionaires found that more than half believe they should pay higher taxes to the government, according to Huffington Post. The survey, conducted by CNBC, found that almost 66 percent of millionaires think the wealthy should pay higher taxes than the poor, while 51 percent believe inequality is a significant problem in the country.