Elizabeth Warren’s plans for the American economy are attracting criticisms from billionaires, even ones who acknowledge that the system needs to be fixed.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates became the latest billionaire to share his perspective on Warren’s tax plan, saying the lack of incentive would curb business innovation in the United States, reported the BBC.
“I’m all for super-progressive tax systems,” he said. “I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine.
“But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” he added. “You really want the incentive system to be there and you can go a long ways without threatening that,” he added.
When asked if he would ever discuss tax policy with Warren, Gates said he doubted Warren’s potential willingness to do so.
“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,” he said.
Warren responded via Twitter a little while later proclaiming openness to a possible meeting with the Tech billionaire.
“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.)”
Gates, who was speaking on Wednesday at the New York Times Dealbook Conference, said he supports higher taxes on the wealthy.
Warren claims the backlash from billionaires is proof that the system needs to be fixed, “The fact that they’ve reacted so strongly—so angrily!—to being asked to chip in more tells you all that you need to know,” she tweeted on Tuesday.
“The system is working great for the wealthy and well-connected, and Jamie Dimon doesn’t want that to change. I’m going to fight to make sure it works for everyone,” she added.
Warren’s tweet came on the heels of comments made by JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon, who, earlier this week on CNBC’s Closing Bell said that Warren “vilifies successful people” and that her plans would change “the complete nature of how you run a corporation.”
“She uses some pretty harsh words, you know, some would say vilifies successful people,” Dimon said. “I don’t like vilifying anybody. I think we should applaud successful people.”
Billionaire Leon Cooperman joked that Warren’s policies would be so disastrous that “they won’t open the stock market” if she wins the White House.
Some billionaires are well aware of the problems in the current system.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff recently said “capitalism, as we know it, is dead” and called for a new version that focuses more on societal good.
Ray Dalio, the billionaire hedge fund founder of Bridgewater Associates, acknowledged in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday that the “system of making capitalism work well for most people is broken.”
Dalio claims the world is “approaching a big paradigm shift,” but didn’t define what that shift will look like
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale School of Management professor, cautioned that Warren should avoid scapegoating the rich.
“Americans do not resent great wealth, as long as it was not achieved through cheating and stealing,” Sonnenfeld said.
The CNN-Wire contributed to this report.