Bill Gates -- taxing the rich more will help close the budget deficit

Since Bill Gates left Microsoft, he has become the world's premier philanthropist, but has largely stayed away from politics. But now, in an aside in an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, he lightly weighs into U.S. politics, saying that increasing taxes on the rich would be a good way to close the budget deficit.

The interview is a wide-ranging one, and covers everything from his philanthropical work to his relationship with Steve Jobs.

Partway down the article, he has this to say about taxes:

"With deficits the way they are, the rich are going to have to pay more. Unfortunately, almost everyone's going to have to pay more, and it should fall more heavily on the rich...Just raising taxes on the rich won't solve the crisis, but it seems reasonable to people -- and there's plenty of room to do that without creating disincentives or distortions."

When asked about Mitt Romney paying less 15% in taxes on his multi-million-dollar income Gates says that the news:

...wasn't shocking at all. That's the US system. If people want capital gains taxed more like the highest rate on income, that's a good discussion. Maybe that's the way to help close the deficit."

Something tells me that Gates won't be quoted at the next Republican Presidential carnival sideshow...I mean debate. And I think it's unlikely he'll weigh in again during the election cycle.

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