Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates criticized New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' plan that would hike the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent, saying that it "misses the picture" in regard to "effectively" taking in added revenue.

Gates made the comments in a "Verge" podcast this week, in which the multi-billionaire said Ocasio-Cortez' plan doesn't do what it intends.

"In terms of revenue collection, you wouldn’t want to just focus on the ordinary income rate, because people who are wealthy have a rounding error of ordinary income," Gates said.

"The one thing that never gets much press — the IRS shows the statistics for the top 400 people of the highest income and the rate they pay," Gates continued. "Anyway, you should look at that. It’s about a 20 percent rate, so it has nothing to do with the 39.6 marginal ordinary income rate. So it’s a misfocus. If you focus on that, you’re missing the picture."

On FBN, Maria Bartiromo and Dagen McDowell discussed how the ultra-wealthy have the ability to utilize "carried interest" provisions, and not pay taxes on their investments.


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"Hedge fund managers still get the carried interest [provision]," McDowell said. "That's what [Gates] is really talking about."

The panel on "Mornings With Maria" described Gates' comments as pointing out that wealthy Americans' actual income pales in comparison to what they hold in investments and other assets.

Kings College Prof. Brian Brenberg added that Gates appears to be "really pushing back on this myth that [the plan] is somehow going to pay for all this spending."

"I don't think anyone is listening to him," he said. "[But] hats off to him."

Later on in the podcast, Gates said he agreed with higher taxes on the wealthy in general.

Watch more above.


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