Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday rolled out a calculator for billionaires to find out how much they’d pay under her wealth tax proposal – with a tongue-in-cheek addition for billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who had a chilly reception to her tax proposal.
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“Some billionaires seem confused about how much they would pay under my Two Cent Wealth Tax,” Warren wrote in a press release after Gates suggested he wasn’t open to paying $100 billion. “Don’t worry, we've got a calculator for that, too.”
Warren’s calculator allows billionaires to put in their net worth to figure out how much the tax would cost them. However, there is a button for Bill Gates, specifically, to click on – apparently to clear up any confusion.
According to her calculator, which assumes he has a net worth of about $107 billion, Gates would owe $6.379 billion.
"This amount, which you likely won’t even feel, will help us invest in education from birth through college and help finance health care for everyone,” the calculator result page read.
A special button is also available for billionaire investor, hedge fund manager and CEO of Omega Advisors, Leon Cooperman, who would owe $151 million.
Warren engaged Gates after the businessman said that he is in favor of a progressive tax structure, but is not so sure about a wealth tax.
“I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes, I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes,” Gates said during a New York Times/DealBook conference. “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.”
When asked whether he would consider sharing his ideas on taxes with Warren – including his view that raising taxes too high would put innovation and capital formation at risk in the U.S. – Gates questioned how open-minded she is.
“I’m not sure … she’d even be willing to sit down with somebody you know who has large amounts of money,” he said.
In a tweeted response, Warren said she was always happy to sit down with people who don't share her opinions.
Should the race ultimately come down to Warren and President Trump – Gates said he would support the candidate that had “the more professional approach,” even if he disagreed with some of the policies.