Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama once again urged Congress to pass the Buffett rule, noting that 25 percent of American millionaires pay less in taxes that millions of families in the middle-class. Republicans were quick to dismiss his request as “the politics of envy and division.” However, multi-billionaire Bill Gates called his policy something else entirely: “That’s just justice.”
In an interview with the BBC, Gates noted “taxes are going to have to go up” and thus he’d prefer that they “go up more on the rich than everyone else.” There needs to be “a sense of shared sacrifice,” he said, adding, “right now, I don’t feel like people like myself are paying as much as we should”:
GATES: Well the United States has a huge budget deficit, so taxes are going to have to go up. And I certainly agree that they should go up more on the rich than everyone else. That’s just justice.
BBC HOST: Is that a message you think that works with other people as wealthy as yourself, or is it just a small circle of friends — yourself, Warren Buffet, a few others.
GATES: Well, I hope we can solve that deficit problem with a sense of shared sacrifice — where everybody would feel like they’re doing their part. And right now, I don’t feel like people like myself are paying as much as we should.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has declared that people with Gates’ view are just riddled with “envy.” But considering that Gates’ wealth dwarfs Romney’s millions, it’s highly doubtful that Gates is envious. He, like an increasing number of millionaires, just views paying his fair share as the right thing to do.