Warren says she'd talk to Bill Gates about what he'd pay under wealth tax: 'I promise it's not $100 billion'

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE (Mass.) responded to former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates’ reported concerns over what he would have to pay under the senator’s proposed tax on the wealthy. 

“I'm always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views. @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 tweeted Wednesday.

Gates spoke with The New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin at the outlet’s DealBook conference Wednesday.


Addressing one aspect of Warren’s tax proposals for the wealthy – a 6 percent tax on assets above $1 billion, according to the Washington Post – Gates responded that there is a limit on what he would be willing to pay, although he said does support a progressive tax system.

“I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine,” Gates said. “But when you say I should pay $100 billion, okay then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over. I’m just kidding”

He also warned that candidates who support taxing “too much” risk alienating “innovative” companies or entrepreneurs in the U.S. 

Gates added that he was not sure Warren would sit down with “somebody who has large amounts of money.” 

“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 said.

Sorkin also asked Gates, who has been a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE, who he would vote for in a hypothetical match-up between Trump and Warren. Gates did not specifically endorse either.  

“I’m not going to make political declarations,” Gates said. “But I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind, a professional approach is even, as much as I disagree with some of the policy things that are out there, I do think a professional approach to the office is… whoever I decide will have the more professional approach in the current situation, probably is the thing that I will weigh the most. And I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.”

Gates dropped to third place of the wealthiest people in the world earlier this year. He was worth an estimated $107 billion in July, according to Bloomberg.