June 1, 2010

Gates’s Dad Says Rich ‘Aren’t Paying Enough’ in Taxes

Posted: 09:00 PM ET



Bill Gates’s father wants the Microsoft Corp. co-founder to pay more in income taxes.

Bill Gates Sr., a retired Washington state lawyer, supports a proposed ballot initiative that would require the state’s highest earners including himself and his son to pay an income tax. Washington now collects no personal income taxes.

“Poor people and middle-income people are paying too much to support the state and rich people aren’t paying enough,” Gates Sr. said in an interview yesterday in Seattle. “That’s the starting point for me.”

The proposed tax on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples earning more than $400,000 would raise $1 billion a year to fund education and health care. While targeting the highest earners, the measure would ease the burden on homeowners with a 20 percent reduction in state property levies and eliminate the business-and-occupation tax for 80 percent of enterprises in the state, backers say.

Proponents begin collecting signatures today to put proposed Initiative 1098 on the state’s November ballot, amid opposition from critics who say a new tax will discourage spending and investment.

“The last thing our state needs is more job-killing taxes in the middle of a recession,” said Luke Esser, chairman of the state Republican Party. “It just shows there’s an insatiable appetite by the Democrats and the liberals for more taxes.”


Filed under: Larry King Live

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Cathy   June 1st, 2010 9:20 pm ET

I think Mr. Gates Sr. would better serve the state via philanthropic initiatives rather than deciding who should and should not pay taxes. I am dumbfounded when there is a suggestion that a couple needs twice as much money as a single person. $200,000 vs $400,000 is a bit over the top. I do not begrudge the wealthy in any way as some do. However, often times they are so wealthy they lose sight of reality. We all know sometimes people get divorced for tax purposes but now they will need to get married.

Adriana   June 1st, 2010 9:29 pm ET

I'm really really obsessed with Gagaaa!
I love her. 🙂

GAGA   June 1st, 2010 9:33 pm ET

IAsk her to take off her sun glasses

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 1st, 2010 9:41 pm ET

I think this has always been known. The trouble with the rich, they are reluctant to part with it. Just want to hoarde it I think. How much money does a person need really. You can't take it with you when you go. Pay your fair share. Don't hide behind this and that.

Matthew 19 Verses 23 & 24 – THE RICH YOUNG MAN

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Again I tell you , it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

I commend Bill Gates and his father, who is very brave to come out like this.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 1st, 2010 9:48 pm ET

1 Timothy Chapter 6 Verse 10

"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 1st, 2010 9:55 pm ET

Mark Chapter 12 Verse 17 – PAYING TAXES TO CAESAR

"Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. "

Charles   June 1st, 2010 10:15 pm ET

I hope the subject of this interview will be all of the good work the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing in the world; I believe Mr. Gates Sr. is very involved in the foundation as well. It will disappoint some who greatly admire Bill Gates if this interview focuses on who should pay what and other politically-charged issues. Those discussions should be saved for interviews with politicians; obviously an ideal discussion to have with President Obama. One night of a week's celebration of Larry's 25th anniversary is enough to devote to political issues. Let's try to make it a very enjoyable week, Larry, not a divisive one.

Jason Charles   June 1st, 2010 11:45 pm ET

Hello larry i watch your show all the time. I have a way the stop the oile spill this noe a prank if you could get me intouch with some one in the obama administration i think imy idea could work. thank you

Smith in Oregon   June 2nd, 2010 12:39 am ET

Wow, apparently the Gaza Peace Flotilla humanitarian organizers were marked for death days before even reaching their scheduled destination. Photo's of the Israeli Commando's hit list which included the photos and names of the passengers to be murdered was allegedly obtained in the scuffle among the peace protesters and the Israeli Commando's and one of the photos of that hit list released on the internet on several locations appear to verify the fact that the Israeli Commando operation was a cover to murder the key organizers of the Peace Flotilla humanitarian operation who were passengers on the Turkish flag ship leading the flotilla.

Perhaps independent news agency's can follow-up on this information and look into the authenticity of the document which appears to be the smoking gun and a genuine article.

Smith in Oregon   June 2nd, 2010 3:31 am ET

I find it very troubling how swiftly the alleged Israeli Commando's hit list was published on various Internet websites which shows the photos and names of the Gaza Peace Food flotilla organizers who were civilian passengers that were apparently murdered.

It is plausible and possible for a Islamic extremist organization to obtain the photos and names of those involved given several weeks or a month AFTER the incident took place. HOWEVER it is extremely unlikely this document would be created when it was utterly unknown who and how many were killed. And this alleged hit list said to have been taken from one of the Israeli Commando's during the midnight raid surfaced almost immediately.

I find it very troubling and feel that a line has been crossed by Israel which is utterly and totally condemnable.

Perhaps this will further pressure Interpol to charge those Israeli's responsible with International criminal charges.

Perhaps this will pressure Turkey to rethink its open door policy with America in allowing enormous US Military supplies to travel thru Turkey and Turkey's future relationship with Israel.

This Israeli Commando midnight raid on a civilian flotilla in International Waters could force America to redirect Israel or face a significant chill in American and Israeli relations.

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   June 2nd, 2010 6:38 am ET

Mr Gates

You are one of the richest man in the world. Do you enjoy your wealth?
Or being wealthy is a burden to you?
What more do you want to give to the world which you think you haven't yet done. Thanks.

Ted   June 2nd, 2010 8:35 am ET

@ Smith in Oregon

You are correct, this was well planned and executed just like the killing in Dubai.
I am watching international press, as ours will not transmit details negative to Israel, and more and more dirty details come to light.

I am very disappointed by the mild resolution passed by the UN, asking Israel to investigate the affaire and give a fair and impartial report! It is like asking a bank robber to investigate the robbery and provide a fair and impartial report. Travesty of justice to favour Israel.
Besides, Israel always ignored every UN resolution, so why bother?

I am even more disappointed by the response of the WH, it seems piracy, terrorism on high seas, killing innocent civilians, capturing foreign cargo ships are just fun if it is done by Israel.

Mr. President, how lomg do you plan to hide in the rose garden before you do your job to protect the USA?
According to the MOSSAD, the israeli secret service, Israel is causing the USA great burdens. The same was voiced by Gen. McChrystal.

Mr. President, Turkey is a member of the NATO, its ships was captured in international waters by foreign military forces, its citizens were killed, wounden and captured.
It has the right to call NATO to help, as we did after 9/11.
What do you plan to do in that case? If you refuse we will never be able to ask help from NATO and it will just fall apart.
You will be forced to decide, your obligation to NATO and Turkey or to the killers in Israel! No more hiding in the rose garden.

You could stop immediately all that killing and supression in the middle east by cancelling all military and financial aid and diplomatic support to Israel.
Or do you think jewish lives are more important than the arab ones?

Ted   June 2nd, 2010 8:43 am ET

Yes, the rich in the USA do not carry a fair share of the taxation, they use all kind of write offs to pay no taxes or very little.
People earning over $500,000 a year taxable income should pay 49% taxes.

American Patriot   June 2nd, 2010 9:03 am ET

This is the formal complaint I filed today with the United States Department of Justice.

I would like to file a Complaint against Mr. Eric Holder for refusing to Enforce Federal Immigration laws in the United States that he SWORE AN OATH to uphold.

It wouldn't matter if you are Latino or Hispanic or Norwegian," she said. "If you didn't have proof of citizenship and the police officer had reasonable suspicion, he would ask and verify your citizenship. I mean, that's the way that it is. That's what the federal law says. And that's what the law in Arizona says." GOVERNOR OF AIRZONA…..

Mr. Holder has refused to do the job he swore and Oath to and uphold and Enforce the Laws of the U.S.

This is a vote of NO Confidence against Mr. Holder by the American People at a rate of 80%, that is how many Americans support the Arizona Bill.

By Mr. Holder refusing to ENFORCE Federal Immigration Laws and the Laws of this United States.

I call for his removal from office of the Attorney General of the United States on the basis of failing and willful refusal to uphold the Law.

I will circulate this on the internet to get signatures from U.S. Citizens from all over the United States. With 80% of American Citizens demanding the Federal Immigration Law be enforced, I am confident my petition will get millions of signatures and make it on mainstream Media.


Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   June 2nd, 2010 9:50 am ET

@A. Smith, Oregon

Thanks for highlighting your concern. i was wondering why this blog was silent on the Israeli aggression.
As usual, the Israeli government came out with a spin that they were attacked first and they retaiiated in self-defence. It's ridiclous since it's a food and aid flottila for the Palestinians The activists were unarmed and were not carrying weapons..
You can see it's purely aid convoy in NY Times and Guardian, Uk and other world media.
The sad thing was that they were in international waters.
We have 12 Malaysian on board the ship but luckily they are safe and unharm. They are now being deported to Jordan. Our Foreign Minister is in Amman to facilitate and accompany them home.
Our Parliament is passing an emergency resolution to pressure the UN to take a tougher stance on the Zionist regime.
If the UN can easily approve sanction on Iran, Iraq and South Africa for example, why cant they do that to israel.
we are dissapointed with President Obama's reaction who just said he deeply regretted the incident and wants Israel to collect the facts of the case.
Do you expect Israel to be transparent on the truth.
The videos they transmitted to the world showed their biasness,

Charles   June 2nd, 2010 12:29 pm ET

As a financial planner myself, you should give up your position and join the left-wing nuts. For anyone making $500,000 a year to pay $49 in what I assume you to mean federal income tax is beyond absurd. If you are a socialist, why a financial planner. You are something my friend.

Smith in Oregon   June 2nd, 2010 1:38 pm ET

Turkey is reporting they'll escort future Gaza Aid ships with their own warships. Perhaps some might remember the recent brokered Uranium swap for Fuel Rods between Brazil, Turkey and Iran to help defuse the stand-off over Iran's enriched Uranium holdings.

This heavy handed action by the Israeli Commando's and Israeli navy soldiers on dozens of zodiac's that surrounded the flotilla and repeatedly opened fire on the ships APPEARS to directly be a brutal push back to Turkey over its part and efforts in defusing the Iranian enriched Uranium deal.

I am very concerned that Israel has blurred the lines between cooperative nations such as NATO member Turkey and those they perceive as enemy's that wish them ill.

If Israel attacks Turkish warships escorting future Gaza Food and Medical Supply flotillas that will certainly fracture NATO as that would directly violate the NATO treaty and likely result in the closure of Turkey's airspace for America and Israeli US Military aircraft and likely result in the closure of Turkey's territory for the US Military transports.

Netanyahu is trying to spin hospital beds, wheel chairs and ten thousand tons of FOOD as weapons from Hamas to Gaza terrorists. That simply is not going to fly whatsoever. The number of peace protesters wounded has been estimated as high as 50, such likely won't be accurately known by independent sources for some time as a number of the passengers on the Turkish cargo flag ship are isolated in Israeli prisons.

If Jewish citizens living in America or the UK have any influence whatsoever over the out of control Netanyahu, I strongly urge you to at least contact the Israeli Embassy in your country to urge restraint. Ireland is clearly stating if it's unarmed peaceful citizens are harmed, shot or murdered in future Gaza Food Flotillas, the IRA will begin hunting down Jewish civilians and executing them in the UK and in America.

Julianna M Hamann, Ph D   June 2nd, 2010 5:08 pm ET

In the early 1950s, I was a young counselor at a summer camp for underprivileged children where I witnessed several college-aged counselors become victims to the dreaded disease of polio while administering to the needs of less fortunate children of New York. Fortunately, I was spared and again, fortunately, it has been eradicated in our Western Hemisphere.

However polio is still rampaged in third world countries such as Ethiopia where its youth are in dire need of polio vaccinations.

To help continue to eradicate the disease, please ask both Bill Jr. and Bill Sr. to address the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s unwavering support of the Rotary International’s PolioPlus Campaign and to make mention of the outstanding newly released DVD, “After the Rains: pursuing polio to the ends of the Earth,” a documentary produced by Jack and Leslie Hamann of Seattle, which illustrates the efforts of a Seattle Rotarian, Ezra Teshome, who committed more than a quarter of his life to Rotary’s heroic polio campaign.

Grandma Julie, (79 and still breathing gratefully.)

Cathy   June 2nd, 2010 8:26 pm ET

Please lets have ALL the rich pay income tax and maybe that will then
allow us poor folks and middle class a kick to the can and see if we also could earn a Million, maybe a Billion dollars also and enjoy the comforts of life instead of doing without so much..
Thanks for this opportunity to express my wishes.
Everyone who earns a money/pay cheque pays income tax.
No income no pay.
Thank you and have a good day!

Hugh in California   June 2nd, 2010 8:56 pm ET

Most people have known for decades that the rich don't pay enough taxes, only those who favor the greedy who are fleecing America would think otherwise.

Jay b   June 2nd, 2010 9:20 pm ET

What's new, rich people have been getting around from paying taxes for years.

Charles   June 2nd, 2010 9:20 pm ET

@Hugh in California,
The top 1% pays 40% of the federal income taxes. The lower 50% pay nothing (3.3% for those in the 47th-50th percentile, 46th percentile and lower pay 0). I am not wealthy but I prefer to think of it as favoring those who bust their behinds everyday. How are we doing on education? How are we doing on motivation? Oh, not so well. Correct, but we are doing great with our sense of entitlement.

jack   June 2nd, 2010 9:34 pm ET

I wholeheartedly agree:the rich are not paying nearly enough taxes. Plus, are taxes are being wasted on needless wars and subsidies to the wealthy? We need citizen-friendly legislation, and funding for the environment and infrastructure.

Penny A Pratl   June 2nd, 2010 9:46 pm ET

If Bill and his father and Warren Buffet are so big on the estate tax why don't they want to pay it. Putting the majority of their money in Gates Foundation helps them avoid the estate tax.. I'm just curious why they don't leave their money to the government. I am moderately successful and would much rather leave my money to my less fortunate relatives when I'm gone instead of the government to blow. Starting next year the government will take about half my money when I'm gone instead of my son, grandchildren, brothers and sisters getting it.

alan   June 3rd, 2010 2:58 am ET

That would be nice to see them try to raise taxes, but what are they going to do when Microsoft leaves Washington and moves to another state without income tax? All those people who work for Microsoft, and the companies in Washington that service Microsoft will loose their jobs, and go on unemployment.... will all those people that thought it was a good idea to raise taxes still feel the same way? I live in California and we already drove away most of our major business due to high taxes. It is easy to raise taxes, but major cities cannot survive on the taxes of people working for Wal-mart and McDonalds. Be wise, look at the history of other states/cities and see how those places are doing 10-20 years after they raised taxes, Ronald Regan lowered taxes and the government took in more money than ever before.

alan   June 3rd, 2010 3:51 am ET

By the way, if you reply to my comment is that they are not looking to raise taxes on businesses like Microsoft, only people making over $200,000 a year. I would bet that at least 15% of Microsoft makes over $200,000. Between board members, programmers, managers, etc, so if they leave to go to a state without income tax, the balance of the company would move to. So, if the wealthy people leave Washington because they do not want to pay the proposed higher taxes, and no one buys their homes, and property values fall on the higher dollar homes, does that mean the state takes in less money on property taxes?????? That is a major portion of the states current income.

Ted   June 3rd, 2010 8:54 am ET

@ Charles

Thank you for your insulting and personal blogs, it shows where do you come from. You were not brought up by your parents to respect the opinion of others, you just grew up on a pile of trash.

You are correct that the top 40% of taxes are paid by the top 10%, however those people have the income to pay it and have enough left to live in luxury! Those who pay no income tax, but pay a lot of other taxes, can only dream of such a life.
Large income is not earned by busting your ass, as you say, but mostly cheating those who earn the least. You do not make millions by working hard.
And I make a bet with you, none of those big earners pay the amount they should, but use crooked lawyers and tax advisers to cut their obligation to the state to the minimum or to zero.

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