Bill Gates Paid $10 Billion in Taxes but He Says He Should’ve Paid More

Gates shared in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit.
  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates hosted his seventh Reddit “Ask Me Anything” on Feb. 25.
  • The thread covered topics ranging from taxes to education to climate change.
  • Gates is currently worth close to $100 billion.

Did you know Bill Gates has a trampoline room? Neither did Reddit users until Gates himself admitted it during his seventh Reddit “Ask Me Anything” on Feb. 25. The Microsoft founder fielded dozens of questions from users, ranging from questions on finances to education.

Here are some of the key questions and takeaways from Gates’ AMA. Entrepreneurs and burgeoning billionaires might want to take note of how one of the richest men around views the world.

Don’t Miss: 6 Genius Money Tips from Billionaire Bill Gates

Should Billionaires Pay More Taxes?

Gates certainly thinks so.

“I think our system can be a lot more progressive (that is richer people paying a higher share),” he wrote in a Reddit post. “A key element is making capital gains taxation more like ordinary income (some have suggested making them the same) and having an estate tax more like we had in the past (55 percent above $3.5 million). … So yes, I have paid $10 billion, but I should have had to pay more on my capital gains.”

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Gates’ net worth is $98 billion as of Feb. 28, according to Forbes, so anyone who’s worth significantly less than that should be pretty on board.

But Consider: Why a 70% Tax Rate on the Rich Wouldn’t Work, According to a Wealth Expert

Can Money Buy Happiness?

“Yes,” Gates wrote. “I don’t have to think about health costs or college costs. Being free from worry about financial things is a real blessing. Of course you don’t need a billion to get to that point. We do need to reduce the cost growth in these areas so they are accessible to everyone.”

Check Out: Warren Buffett Measures Success With This Four-Letter Word

What Advice Would Gates Give His Younger Self?

“I would try and make myself more self-aware without getting rid of the focus and desire to learn,” Gates wrote, noting that in his youth he was “intense and socially inept.”

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Related: Not Having These 8 Networking Skills Will Cost You

Are Online Courses the Future of Education?

Gates said that online courses are an aid for both students and teachers, but “so far that material hasn’t helped reduce dropout rates from high school or college by engaging students in a better way.”

“Our foundation funds a lot of new work in this area, so I am hopeful that it will make a difference,” he added.

Check Out: 20 States That Put Education First

What Is the Biggest Threat to Humanity Right Now?

The Bill Gates AMA even covered a hot topic with global implications:

“The biggest question is global cooperation to avoid climate change and reduce the risk of war. It is disconcerting to see a rise of countries turning inwards and not investing in alliances which have helped us avoid big wars since World War II.

“Climate change is a real test of how we can work together globally since it is a complex problem where major changes need to be done well in advance of the big harms.”

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Also See: How Climate Change Will Affect Your Investment Opportunities

What Do Rich People Spend Their Money On?

Sports cars, caviar and private tropical islands are cool, but have you ever devoted an entire room of your house to just bouncing?

“[My house] includes a trampoline room, which seems kind of over the top, but my kids love using it to work off their excess energy,” wrote Gates. “I am not sure how guilty I should feel about being in a great house.”

However much guilt Gates feels is likely lost in the rush of bouncing in the air. He also mentioned a private jet, which aids him in his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but that was mentioned after the trampoline room.

Keep reading to see the 10 ways Bill Gates built his massive fortune.

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About the Author

Sean Dennison

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

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