Gates touched on the time he spent traveling during 2019 as well as his awareness of the “gross inequities” that lie between the “lucky” and “unlucky.” He continued to touch on the taxation system in the United States, which he notes is “one of the most important debates” taking place in the country, likely referring to Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren that are taking aim at the wealthy.
The investor notes the growing wealth gap that has become “much greater” than it was 50 years ago and suggested that some are “disproportionately rewarded” for their work. In contrast, Gates notes that people who “work just as hard” have trouble affording basic necessities.
“That’s why I’m for a tax system in which, if you have more money, you pay a higher percentage in taxes. And I think the rich should pay more than they currently do, and that includes Melinda and me,” Gates wrote.
The 64-year-old entrepreneur proposed raising the capital gains tax to the same as the taxes on labor, noting that most of the income of the wealthy comes from profits from investments that are taxed less than working Americans. He also proposed raising the estate tax and closing its loopholes, as well as removing the cap on income subject to Medicare taxes.
“Our wealth comes with an obligation to give back to society, and in 2020, we’re committed to continue living up to that obligation: through our taxes, through our foundation, and through our personal giving,” Gates wrote at the conclusion of his post.
What does the world's 2nd-richest man Bill Gates have to say about a possible wealth tax? pic.twitter.com/DfpXQ4OgLI— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) September 17, 2019
Gates previously took issue with Warren’s wealth tax, Observer reported. Gates said at The New York Times DealBook conference in November that he supports increased taxes on the rich to increase government revenue but said that the vital thing lawmakers must do is create an “incentive system” that works for the ultra-wealthy.
Per Newsweek, both Gates and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett have pledged to give away most of the wealth to charity as part of the Giving Pledge. Despite these commitments, their wealth over the past decade has doubled, although they have both given away considerable amounts of money. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given more than $45 million to combat global poverty, and Buffett has made $27.54 billion in charitable contributions across the 10-year period to 2017.