Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she would “love to explain” her wealth tax to Bill Gates after the Microsoft co-founder expressed doubt that she would sit down and talk with him.
“I’m always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views,” Warren tweeted on Wednesday. “@BillGates, if we get the chance, I’d love to explain exactly how much you’d pay under my wealth tax. (I promise it’s not $100 billion.)”
Warren was responding to comments Gates made earlier Wednesday at the New York Times Dealbook conference where he said he supported higher taxes on the wealthy and would be “fine” paying $20 billion in taxes.
“But, you know, when you say I should pay $100 billion, OK, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” he added. “Sorry. I’m just kidding. So you really want the incentive system to be there and you can go a long ways without threatening that.”
Asked if he would ever discuss tax policy with Warren, Gates 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.”
Gates’ net worth is $106.8 billion according to Forbes.
Warren’s slate of economic policy proposals include a wealth tax of 6 cents on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion and raising capital gains taxes to help fund a range of government programs including Warren’s “Medicare for All” plan.
While Warren’s not the first presidential candidate to call for structural economic change, the Massachusetts Democrat has drawn notable complaints from billionaire’s as her campaign has gained support — something she has pointed to as proof the system needs to be changed.
After JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon said this week that Warren “vilifies successful people,” Warren shot back, tweeting, “The fact that they’ve reacted so strongly — so angrily! — to being asked to chip in more tells you all that you need to know.”
The current economic system, she said, “is working great for the wealthy and well-connected, and Jamie Dimon doesn’t want that to change. I’m going to fight to make sure it works for everyone.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this week found Warren in the top tier of candidates for the Democratic nomination in Iowa, with 20% support among likely Democratic caucusgoers.