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Bill Gate says he needs to pay higher taxes

Posted at 12:29 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 12:29:58-05

(CNN) - Bill Gates believes the government needs more resources to address public issues such as poverty, health care and education and that he and other members of the ultra rich need to be taxed more to fund such action.

Gates is the founder of Microsoft and, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the second-richest man in the world, with a fortune of more than $90 billion. He told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview that “the government should require that people in my position pay significantly higher taxes.”

“I need to be paying higher taxes,” he said.

Gates noted the precarious welfare of many in America and how they can be neglected by policy.

“You still have about a sixth of the population living in conditions that should be very disappointing to us,” he said. “Government policies need to really think through why aren’t we doing a better job for those people.”

The 62-year-old said the recent tax bill would not effectively address the situations of the poorest and, broadly, not greatly benefit the majority of Americans.

“It was not a progressive tax bill, it was a regressive tax bill,” he said. “People who are wealthier tended to get dramatically more benefits than the middle class or those who are poor. And so it runs counter to the general trend that you’d like to see, where the safety net is getting stronger and those at the top are paying higher taxes.”

Gates did acknowledge that past a certain threshold, excessive taxation can result in “a lot of wasted activity” but that on balance the current system in the U.S. has “room to be more progressive.”

“We just recently created more room to be more progressive,” he said.

Gates also spoke at length about issues ranging from education, to immigration, to artificial intelligence.

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