OVER THE RAINBOW, WASHINGTON — At the time of publication, Bill Gates — the founder and former, long-time CEO of Microsoft — was still busy explaining his points of view on taxation to a woman who had returned a wallet he left at the gas station a few hours earlier. There were reportedly about half a billion dollars in cash in the wallet, which Gates would later tell reporters is only possible because “when you get super-super-super-super rich” the treasury department gives you a special currency that is millimeters thin, so the wealthy can carry as much of their net worths with them is as humanly possible.
“A lot of rich folks like to be reminded of how rich they are, all the time,” Gates told a reporter who caught up with while he was looking for his wallet, “and so the Treasury Department invented this kind of currency that’s very valuable but extremely thin and flexible, which lets us carry millions and millions of bucks, in cash, wherever we go. That way, if we need some comfort, we can just pull the nanocash out, rub it a few times, and feel safe and secure, knowing our time is worth just that much more than yours.”
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Mr. Gates was recently interviewed by The New York Times and became the second billionaire to express doubt about Senator Liz Warren (D-MA) and her attempts to establish a Medicare for All program in the U.S. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg faced backlash from progressives a few days ago when he too expressed skepticism of Warren’s healthcare and social program proposals. Gates said in his interview with The Times that he’s got no problem with being taxed billions of dollars, but that if it’s proposed that he pay $100 billion in taxes he’d have “to do a little math over what [he has] left over.”
“But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math over what I have left over.” (The Failing New York Times)
“Hey, I wanna thank you for finding my wallet. Really, that was quite nice of you to return it, and not even ask for a reward,” Gates said as he took his wallet from Henrietta Silverstein, a young woman who found his wallet at the Gas-N-Piss on Route 24. “I love coming to Gas-N-Piss when I need to get gas and take a piss, because they have the most delicious oink-oink sandwiches there. But apparently I dropped my wallet after I got done pissing and paid for my gas and oink-oink sandwich, huh?”
Ms. Silverstein confirmed she’d found the wallet not more than a few moments after Gates had dropped it, but that he hadn’t heard her calling after him with it. Gates put out a tweet a few hours later, saying he’d lost his wallet and asking for any help he could get locating it. Silverstein tweeted at Gates that she’d found it at the Gas-N-Piss and he could come get it from her at any time.
“You know, the thing about taxes though,” Gates started in, without any warning, “they can’t be too high. I mean, I’m all for social programs. I’m all for making the Poors as comfortable as they can be, really. I mean, hell, I’m trying to literally eradicate polio and diarrhea from the world. But you can’t tax all my money. That’s too far, it really is.”
Silverstein just stared ahead, blankly.
“Uh-huh,” she said.
Gates, undeterred, went on.
“So, I’m worth about a hundred-seven billion dollars, right? And so, sure, you could hike my taxes to the point where you’re taking fifty billion bucks from me,” Gates explained, “and I wouldn’t flinch. Wouldn’t even give the smallest of shits. But what happens if you tax a hundred billion? I know that’s not actually what anyone is proposing, and that they’re actually only proposing a rate hike on a percentage of that, but let’s say they take all 100 billion of it. You realize that would leave me with a paltry seven billion dollars?”
Gates laughed nervously.
“You might be surprised how much life would drastically change if all I had left was six billion dollars,” Gates said. “Sure, that money would likely be in all kinds of interest bearing accounts and invested in other ways that make it grow, but still. That’s damn near poverty level for me. I can’t even remember when it was the last time I had less than eighty billion in my checking account. What a nightmare, to wake up and only have, like, 5.9999999999999999999 billion more dollars than most other people will ever have in their lives! I shudder to think.”
Though he’s “certain” he “could muddle through” and come out on top if left with only a handful of billion dollars, Gates told Silverstein he doesn’t hope it ever comes to that, and not just for him; for anybody.
“I can’t imagine putting just six billion dollars in a kid’s hands and telling him to go off and make a life for himself,” Gates insisted. “I mean, what’s a pack of milk and a jug of cigarettes cost these days, like, a billion bucks or whatever, right? So, look, all I’m really saying here is don’t be afraid to tax me. Hell, don’t be afraid to tax me more. I’m just asking that you consider what it would be like to live on billions when you’re used to living on, like, way more billions, that’s all.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.