Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates makes an appearance on ABC to talk about the U.S. economy and his charitable works, telling viewers that the economy needs several years to recover and that taxpayers can expect to pay more in the coming months.
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates says the U.S.
economy needs considerable time to recover from the recent recession and that
taxpayers are going to have to shoulder much of that burden.
Gates, who remains chairman of Microsoft but spends most of his time working
with the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation,
spoke on the
Jan. 25 edition of ABC's "Good Morning America."
interview, Gates said he generally supports the economic policies of President
Obama but that the country needs to prepare for several years of hardship
before the economy stabilizes.
"Without changes in taxes or entitlement policies, it won't get back
into balance," Gates said. "Taxes are going to have to go up and
entitlements are going to have to be moderated."
Although Gates talked about policies and programs that will have to be
modified to work within the new economic reality, he said Obama should continue
to focus the government's efforts on long-term goals, such as improving
education. Gates also encouraged the United
States to continue its financial aid
to poor and developing countries, such as Haiti.
Gates' TV interview comes just a few days before Obama is set to deliver his
first official State of the Union address. The administration has already begun
developing plans to further stimulate the economy, including taxing major banks
and financial institutions. Gates said he supported this type of plan.
However, Gates did point out that government does not have all the answers
and noted that the U.S.
recovery will be neither quick nor painless.
"He inherited a very tough situation," Gates said. "The
financial markets were stabilized ... now we're having a slow recovery.
Everybody's frustrated by the pace of the recovery. When you have a financial
crisis like that, it's years of digging out."
Also on Jan. 25, the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation released its second annual letter,
restated the foundation's goals, such as developing vaccines to fight disease
in developing countries, increasing agricultural productivity, and encouraging
students and educators both in the United States
"Although innovation is unpredictable," Gates wrote, "there
is a lot that governments, private companies and foundations can do to
accelerate it. Rich governments need to spend more on research and development,
for instance, and we need better measurement systems in health and education to
determine what works."
As of September, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had an endowment of
about $34 billion, according to the annual letter.
Gates has been re-engaging with the public. In just the past few days, Gates restarted his Facebook page
his own Twitter feed.
In addition, he started a Website called Gates Notes,
which looks at a range of international issues.