Bloomberg News

Tax on Wealthy Isn’t Enough to Curb Deficit, Gates Says on ABC

November 01, 2011

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Raising taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans wouldn’t be enough to close the U.S. federal deficit gap, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I’m generally in favor of the idea that the rich should pay somewhat more,” Gates said. “To really deal with the deficit gap we’re talking about, that alone just numerically is not going to be enough.”

Gates, 56, a college dropout who co-founded Microsoft Corp. and started the world’s richest charitable fund, has been encouraging wealthy people to give away more money, as he backs causes ranging from childhood immunization to eradicating polio.

“I just can’t imagine these millionaires and billionaires going down and barricading the streets because they’re going to have to pay 4 or 5 percent more in taxes,” Gates said.

Gates started the Giving Pledge in 2010 with Warren Buffett and offered membership to billionaires who agree to commit half their fortunes to charity. Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, filmmaker George Lucas and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have signed up.

Gates retired from active management of Microsoft in 2008 to run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was founded in 2000. The foundation had a $36.3 billion endowment as of June 30, according to its website.

Gates was ranked by Forbes in March as the world’s second- richest man, behind investor Carlos Slim of Mexico, with a net worth of $56 billion.

Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

--Editors: Ann Hughey, Andrea Snyder.

To contact the reporters on this story: John Hughes in Washington at jhughes5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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