Gates — ranked as the world’s second-richest person by Forbes on Wednesday, with a fortune valued at $96.7 billion — made it clear on “The Late Show” that systemic changes should “take a much higher portion from people with great wealth.”
The 63-year-old former Microsoft titan, however, stopped short of endorsing a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that Americans making more than $10 million a year should pay a 70 percent marginal tax rate.
“That’s ordinary income,” he noted. “These great fortunes were not made through ordinary income, so you probably have to look to the capital gains rate and the estate tax if you want to create more equity there.”
Gates, who appeared on the show with his wife, Melinda Gates, to promote their foundation’s annual letter, made similar comments about the tax code to the Verge.
Of course, there was going to be funny business, with Colbert asking if billionaires should exist and whether the Gateses have considered running for public office.
Watch the interview above.