Number of the Day: $13 Billion

Number of the Day: $13 Billion

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

That’s how much Microsoft founder Bill Gates would pay in federal taxes this year under Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth taxes, according to back-of-envelope calculations by CNBC’s Robert Frank (video here).

The figure includes a 6% tax on wealth over $1 billion – Gates is currently worth about $109 billion – and an additional tax on unrealized gains in Microsoft stock.  

Gates questioned the Warren tax plan in widely shared remarks Wednesday, saying, “I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. … I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes, but I’m glad to — if I’d 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.”

Gates quickly added: “Sorry, I’m just kidding. So you really want the incentive system to be there and you can go a long ways without threatening that.” Nevertheless, his comments seem to reflect a widespread resistance to the idea of a wealth tax among many of the country’s richest citizens.