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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 |
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.

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