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I-1098: Bill Gates Sr. defends public money “innovation” on CBS’ 60 Minutes

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Nov. 1, 2010 at 11:05 am with 12 Comments »
November 1, 2010 11:13 am

In defending I-1098, the measure that seeks to establish a high-earners income tax, Bill Gates Sr. went on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night and told reporter Leslie Stahl the popular notion that private investment is the driver of innovation is wrong-headed.

(He also gave some props to Bremerton.)

Here’s an excerpt (and video clip )from the interview:

Can we just take a minute and talk about innovation? Because there’s this notion that all innovation is the function of private funding, and that’s just sheer nonsense.

The money that is paid as taxation creates little things like a great university, and like a competent, rigorous high school in Bremerton; and like early learning for kids three-years old, so that they know how to read when they start the first grade or go to kindergarten in Spokane. That’s innovation.

And, you know, the notion that public money is somehow anathema to innovation is just plain wrong. And in particular, it’s wrong in the case of this initiative because innovation is the very thing that will be created.

According to the latest results from the non-profit Washington Poll, I-1098 is failing among likely voters: 54 percent said they’d vote against the measure; 43 percent say they’d vote for it; 3 percent are undecided.

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Woke up this morning and voted against I-1098 and anything else that smelled like a tax increase or a tax-increaser (i.e. Dems).

    I used to respect Mr. Gates Sr. a bit more, but he now sounds just a little disengenous. His boy dropped out of a private University (Harvard) to start his own business and became a self-made billionaire by aggressively developing the software void in the free market.

    Innovation is largely spurred by initiative and incentive, two things the private sector does better than the public sector.

  2. UnbiasedReporter says:

    If the Gates’ families think that government knows best then why did they put the bulk of their fortunes into a foundation where it is shielded from federal and state estate/inheritance taxes? I guess the government knows how to spend OUR money, but the spending of THEIRS is best left to THEM.

  3. my wife and I both voted YES PLEASE on this and certainly encourage anyone interested in expanding minds to vote YES with us.

    I felt so strongly I drew this outrageous cartoon:

    Make the rich kids pay their fair share! And tell the teabag loaf-brains to eat a fat one.

  4. Do the rich kids really take more of their fair share? Didn’t they just work harder?

    In short, NineInchNachosII wants us to embrace socialism!

  5. Government neither creates nor produces anything, except a bureaucracy to oversee and take away (tax) what others create and produce. Money left with the private sector enables creation and production to take place, whereas taxation by government merely takes away the tool of money and then redirects but a portion of it back, with no real incentive to actually direct it to a creative or productive target. Just look at historically how much money is being directed at an ineffective and bureaucratically encumbered education system.

    Remember, this is an INCOME tax, and the Gates family and other super-wealthy have no real income, just accumulated wealth that is not subject to this falsely premised tax. It is only a foot in the door to tax the income of everyone who works for a wage…not a tax on the wealthy.

  6. fanciladi says:

    Mr. Gates…you spend your $$$ the way your want, don’t spend other’s $$$ for them…no matter how much or little they have…that’s not yours to do! SHAME ON YOU and others who think the same way!

  7. brucesr says:

    Looks like NineInchNachosII is the one who ate “a fat one”… a FAT LIE! Look, you need to begin to think with your brain… not sit on it!

  8. UnbiasedReporter says:

    I read NineInchNachosII’s comment and felt so strongly that it is time to quote the great Bob Hope:


  9. fanciladi says:

    UnbiasedReporter…good one…I forgot about that little Bob Hope gem…LOL!

  10. demeter says:

    I am so sick of this buffoon bill gates Sr and his attitude that he knows better because his son is a billionaire. what has he ever done?

  11. Rich kids can buy anything, but they can’t buy backbone. It’s time to take from the rich and give to the poor, by hook or by crook. Thank you. And Goddess Bless America.

  12. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue (both parties are corrupt an terrible). This is a MORAL issue you swine!

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