Bill Gates: I Support Taxing The Rich More Than The Poor
Another super-rich celebrity is voicing support for taxing himself more than other Americans.
Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in an interview with ABC's This Week, highlighted by Think Progress, that he's "generally in favor of the idea that the rich should pay somewhat more" than everyone else.
Gates is the latest super-wealthy advocate of a progressive tax system. Famed investor Warren Buffett wrote in a New York Times op-ed last month that lawmakers should stop "coddling" the super-rich by giving them tax breaks. Def-Jam co-founder Russell Simmons told MSNBC's Martin Bashir last month that "we need to make the rich pay their fair share," a sentiment the multi-millionaire hip-hop mogul also expressed at the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park.
"There certainly is a case to be made that taxes should be more progressive," Gates said on This Week. Gates wouldn't say outright whether he supported the so-called Buffett rule -- a proposal named for Buffett included in President Barack Obama's deficit reduction plan that would raise taxes on millionaires.
But it's more than just the famous super-rich that support raising taxes on themselves. Sixty-eight percent of millionaires say they support a tax increase for those earning $1 million or more, according to a survey by The Spectrum Group. In addition, a group calling themselves the Patriotic Millionaires has been urging lawmakers for months to boost taxes on people like themselves.
It's not just millionaires that support a tax increase on the super-rich; ordinary Americans would also like to see the government raise taxes on the wealthy. Nearly three-quarters of Americans said in a Daily Kos poll last month that they support the Buffett rule. Sixty-four percent of Americans said in a CBS News poll that they believe that lawmakers should raise taxes on millionaires to reduce the nation's budget deficit.
And prominent economists may be agreeing with Americans that boosting taxes on millionaires would help to close the budget gap. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan -- a registered Republican -- told CNBC in an interview last month that it's time to let the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
Still, those looking to increase taxes on millionaires and billionaires may face an uphill battle; Republican leaders slammed Obama's deficit reduction plan as "class warfare" after he announced it. In addition, many of the GOP contenders for president favor tax systems that some argue are less progressive than what's currently in place.