Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates was eviscerated on social media after balking at some Democratic candidates’ wealth tax and hinting he’d vote for whoever is “more professional,” which some took as a dog whistle for Trump.
Gates expressed some apprehension about the “wealth tax” proposed by Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, admitting he’d only be willing to fork over so much of his massive fortune. “I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes, I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes! I’m glad to have—If I had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine,” he told the New York Times DealBook Conference on Wednesday.
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“But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” the world’s richest man said, to laughter from the audience. “Just kidding,” he added, while his body language suggested he wasn’t.
Pressed to choose between President Donald Trump – who he has criticized before – and Warren, Gates got fidgety again, waving his hands around and promising to vote for whoever is “more professional.”
I hope the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.
Gates has contributed to candidates in both parties, but pours money into progressive social causes. He was a fan of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, lamenting that he did not have “more power” to push his agenda through Congress, and has slammed Trump for not “setting a good example” for Americans.
Hearing his refusal to commit, Democrats pounced on the software tycoon, interpreting his statement as a “threat” to vote for Trump.
If Bill Gates really has that much trouble deciding who he’d back between Warren and trump, then fuck Bill Gates. Damn these billionaires are really showing us who they are and so far there are no surprises.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 7, 2019
I'm glad Bill Gates made it clear he'd go MAGA to protect his wealth. We need this nonsensical myth about the existence of "good billionaires" to die.
There 👏are 👏no 👏good 👏billionaires! They're all bad people, and we need to confiscate their wealth.
— The Humanist Report🌹 (@HumanistReport) November 7, 2019
A few mocked his math, pointing out that “even if someone was asking Bill Gates to pay $100 billion in taxes, and nobody is, he would still have more money left over than Oprah and Richard Branson have combined.”
You know how long it would take Warren's wealth taxes to cost Bill Gates $100 billion, if he never gave another dollar away to charity? Forty-five years. You know how old Bill Gates will be in forty-five years? A hundred and nine. https://t.co/iMqESBFA5C
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) November 7, 2019
If Elizabeth Warren passed her extra 6 percent wealth tax on fortunes over $1 billion and Bill Gates never gained a single dollar again from any of his investments, he'd still be a billionaire 60 years from now https://t.co/rcAZCLthkx
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) November 6, 2019
Others had more general scorn, suggesting there was no such thing as a “good billionaire” and reminding Twitter about his relationship with now-deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
“The best case scenario there is that Bill Gates knowingly was chums with a pedo, worst case? You know.”
hoping Bill Gates could put some of his billions toward developing a violin that can only be seen with a powerful electron microscope so I have something to play when trying to indicate the sincere depth of my compassion here https://t.co/Wscdl7LG6p
— Just Plain Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) November 6, 2019
Bill Gates is a billionaire bc of what he owns, not bc of what he does. Charitably, he had some good ideas 30 years ago (uncharitably, he stole them). But his enormous fortune is bc he owns stock, not bc he actively creates value. He passively hoovers up value from us.
— David Klion🔥 (@DavidKlion) November 7, 2019
Gates claimed to be apprehensive about even meeting with Warren, musing “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.“
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.) https://t.co/m6G20hDNaV
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019
Warren, however, was eager to meet with the billionaire. As a Massachusetts Senator, Warren embraced big donors before she threw her hat in the presidential ring – only to drop them so fast some of them felt personally insulted.
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