Bill Gates' dad wants him to pay more taxes

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In what some may see as a scheme to redistribute wealth, Bill Gates' father wants his son and all other wealthy Washington state residents to pay more taxes. In a column he wrote for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, he said Washington state has the most regressive tax regime in the country.

He goes on to write, "Middle-class and low-income families pay much more taxes proportionally than the wealthy. Absent an income tax, our over-reliance on the sales tax and property tax also results in insufficient public revenues to fund the public services, especially education, that 21st century Washington citizens deserve and demand."

His solution is to promote a "high incomes" tax, which he says will "offset with an across-the-board cut of the state property tax." He writes about this change, "The vast majority of middle-class families would get a tax cut, the highest income families would pay an added tax (which they would get to deduct from their federal income taxes), and the children and students of our state would get a boost in the billions of dollars for their education..."

His views are not that different than what we've heard in the past from Warren Buffett, who believes the rich need to pay more taxes. He actually went to Washington to oppose a cut in taxes for the wealthy in 2007. He told Congress that the super-rich should be taxed more, not less.

Buffett is famous for his quote saying his "receptionist pays a higher portion of her salary in taxes than I do." Buffett says he pays 18 percent of his salary in taxes, while his receptionist pays almost twice that -- 33 percent. He told lawmakers in November of 2007, "Frankly an economy where my receptionist pays a lot higher tax rate than I do does not strike me as a just economy." He challenged all on the Forbes 400 list to do their own calculations and compare their tax rate with their receptionists.

Buffet added in his testimony, "I see nothing wrong with those who have been blessed by this society to give a larger portion of their income to society than somebody that's working very, very hard to make ends meet."

Lita Epstein has written more than 25 books, including Working After Retirement for Dummies.

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