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Microsoft Government Politics

'Gates for President' Group Gives Up 274

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-when-to-fold-them dept.
netbuzz writes "Dilbert creator Scott Adams had done his best to make this fantasy (or nightmare, depending on your point of view) a viable notion, but after three months of trying the group's leader has acknowledged that it's unlikely Gates will give up his current gig. They've tossed in the towel." Here is our original coverage of this ill-conceived plan.
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'Gates for President' Group Gives Up

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  • by macmastery (600662) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @02:53PM (#18279162) Homepage Journal
    Isn't it a pay cut?
    • Re:Why would he? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Syro2000 (948558) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @02:58PM (#18279234) Homepage

      According to wikipedia, the President's salary traditionally serves as the cap for all government employees, and is currently near half a million dollars. That said, most everyone who runs for President is already independently wealthy, so I don't think pay is a major concern.

      A more appropriate question -- given who we are talking about -- would perhaps be, "isn't it a power cut?"

      • Re:Why would he? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#18279486)
        Seriously. When the President of China came to Washington state, he met with Gates at his own home. The Governor was an 'invited guest'. Gates has more power as a businessman than he ever would as a politician.
      • by Skidge (316075)

        According to wikipedia, the President's salary traditionally serves as the cap for all government employees, and is currently near half a million dollars.

        That cap is one reason why the military has trouble holding onto its higher paid employees, such some specialties of doctors. Once their obligations are up, they can make much more in the civilian world.
  • by smaerd (954708) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @02:54PM (#18279172)
    "..but after three months of trying the group's leader..."
    What was he charged with?
  • He opposes the inheritance tax, like his dad, and he gives his money to decent charities. He ain't a politician in more that the corporate sense. He isn't competent to rule a country, although M$ earns more money than most countries.
    • OF COURSE he does! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by brunes69 (86786)
      He is a massively multi-billionaire. What billionaire would not oppose the inheritance tax?

      Some form of inheritance tax is required because not having just encourages hoarding of capital, which is bad for the national economy in the long term.

      • ...to oppose the inheritance/estate tax. Anyone who has a halfway decent job and saved money rather than spent money will most likely have to file. Remember, it isn't just cash holdings that go towards your estate, but property as well.

        (There are a lot of financial advisors that will help to help you manage your estate so that you are below the legal limit before Uncle Sam comes in, by donating money to worthy causes you supported in life, etc.)
        • You don't have to pay ANY estate tax unless you have over $2,000,000. That is far too high. Every other form of income is taxed without a two million dollar deduction. Why is the estate tax so limited? Think of how few people have over two million saved. Yet so many people who this tax will never effect want it eliminated entirely. I say reduce the deduction to $200,000 or less.
          • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:41PM (#18279826) Homepage Journal
            $2,000,000 is easily surpassed if you run a small family business. You die, and to pay the taxes your wife/kids have to sell the business you spent all your life building. The death tax isn't just on the cash on hand. It's on everything, property value, inventory, stocks, bonds, etc. It's an evil tax that hasn't been completely repealed because people like you are naive enough to believe only the very rich benefit from it.
        • by corbettw (214229)
          And don't forget that life insurance, while not taxable itself, also contributes to the size of your estate, and therefore indirectly influences how much your heirs have to fork over to Uncle Sugar upon your (un)timely demise.

          The best way to avoid the estate tax is to place a chunk of your belongings in a trust and leave the trust to your heirs. That's how the truly rich do it, and it's why people like John Kerry are so in favor of a death tax (he knows his heirs won't be affected by one). See an estate att
      • by Otter (3800) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#18279496) Journal
        He is a massively multi-billionaire. What billionaire would not oppose the inheritance tax?

        Gates and his father oppose the repeal of the tax, not the tax. (Presumably the OP meant to say that).

      • Bill may oppose the inheritance tax but he is a proponent of the estate tax, one that surely costs him dearly. The estate tax is paid by only the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
      • by operagost (62405)

        Some form of inheritance tax is required because not having just encourages hoarding of capital, which is bad for the national economy in the long term.
        By that logic, we should not have sales or luxury taxes as they discourage spending.
    • He isn't competent to rule a country

      he may not be able to run a decent country, but his considerable holdings are proof that he has done a decent job of running the united states thus far :-)

    • by jafiwam (310805) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#18279482) Homepage Journal
      Uhm... No.

      In fact, he defends the tax so much he wrote a book about it. The argument of the book is basically saying the law that is in place is too lenient and it should be repealed for something like the old one that didn't have loopholes. He wants the rich to pay more taxes when they die.

      From Wikipedia:

      Gates is co-author, with Chuck Collins, of the book Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, a defense of the estate tax.[2]

      The book on Amazon.com Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes [amazon.com]

      I haven't finished it yet because I use it to fall asleep... however your statement is not true in fact and spirit.
      • I haven't finished it yet because I use it to fall asleep...

        What a shining endorsement of the book! I'm gonna run out and get it.
    • by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#18279498) Homepage Journal
      "He opposes the inheritance tax, like his dad..."

      I don't know about Bill Gates, but William H. Gates Sr., the father of Bill Gates, supports the inheritance tax.

      From Now with Bill Moyers: [pbs.org] "There's a campaign to restore the inheritance tax. And it's being led, believe it or not, by some of the country's richest people including Bill Gates, Sr. ..."

      From Alternet.org: [alternet.org] "Case Against Inheritance Tax Is Bogus", By Chuck Collins and Bill Gates, Sr., AlterNet. Posted September 15, 2005.

      The reason is obvious -- without the inheritance tax, the US would develop a wealthy aristocratic class. This is one of the main reasons the founding fathers broke away from Britain and developed a constitutional Republic.
      • by zymano (581466)
        People should pay taxes but inheritance taxes seem wrong.

        Why not just raise rates on the rich.

        Quit pilfering for every little cent with stupid taxes.

        • by Qzukk (229616)
          Personally, I think under the income tax system, inheritance should simply be considered "income" and taxed with your income taxes, and that's it.

          Of course, I also like the FairTax sales tax system more and more as I think about it, assuming that after we lay off the IRS and pare down government we can get the sales tax rate to something under %20. Bonus points if we can convince companies to mark their prices with tax included.
          • by Bassman59 (519820)

            Of course, I also like the FairTax sales tax system more and more as I think about it, assuming that after we lay off the IRS and pare down government we can get the sales tax rate to something under %20.

            Some problems with this:

            • We could pay for any of the big social programs, and have $$$$ to spare, if we stopped pissing away money in that clusterfuck called Iraq. How many billions has that been? How many trillions will it cost when all is said and done?
            • Getting rid of the IRS and paring down the federal government won't reduce the tax burden significantly, as you also have state and local governments that provide the services everyone expects and in fact requires (roads, police force, fire department
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I don't know anything about Bill Gates' dad, but Gates himself supports the inheritance tax. Which is kind of unusual for somebody mega-rich.
    • by NSIM (953498)

      He isn't competent to rule a country.

      Since when did incompetence prevent people from running for President :-) Heck, anybody looking at the US for the last 8-years would think it was a job requirement!

    • Indeed he's not -- there's a guy in Lower Slobovia...

  • by Necreia (954727) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @02:57PM (#18279214)
    No way he'd win, it would cost too much to bribe him.
  • Conflict of Interest....

    There is no way he could be seen as anything other than conflicted over what software government branches use. It just wouldn't work.
    • We elect lawyers and don't complain about the conflict of interest when the feds deal with legal matters.

      Anyway, I think there are many much bigger issues facing a president than what software the government uses.
      • by misleb (129952)
        And besides, everyone knows that Oracle is better than SQL Server for keeping data on citizens, all of whom could potentially be terrorists.

    • They elected a former oil exec and his CEO. Who then proceeded to fill the coffers of the company they once ran and started a war that looked like it was base don oil. You can't tell me they will not eventually get some benifit from this. I can imagine numerous and expensive speakign engagements in Bush and Cheneys future paid for by haliburton.

      The current admin has as much conflict of interest as gates would. I don't hear washington screaming for impeechment yet.
    • by DeadChobi (740395)
      Because Dick Cheney doesn't have a massive conflict of interest over what nation building company we use in Iraq? I'll give you a hint. THe name starts with an "H" and ends with "alliburton."
    • by Mattwolf7 (633112)
      Yeah since the Presidents main duty is selecting what operating system and office platform to run...
      • the Presidents main duty is selecting what operating system and office platform to run

        Wow, the current guy really isn't doing his job, is he? With this being the case, it is really too bad that the Yanks require a native born "son" as President. Otherwise there could be a Linus Torvalds for Pres in, um, 2020 campaign.

  • by zymano (581466) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:00PM (#18279260)
    -Microsoft shareholders.

    -Antivirus companies

    -Computer techs/Best Buy and pimped warranties.

    -Indian outsourcers.

    -Foreign charities.
  • by ghoti (60903) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:02PM (#18279286) Homepage
    This was a pure publicity stunt for Adams. He just picked a well-known person and made a big fuss to get his name into the headlines again. Gates is the perfect person for watercooler talk, since everybody knows him and has something (good or bad) to say about Microsoft. There was no chance this would ever lead anywhere, and now that they see that they won't get more publicity out of it, they're doing one last stunt (We give up! Too bad! We tried so hard!) and let it die with a bang.
  • He Just doesn't have the right charisma to do it. In in the end Chrisma is what makes you predident or not.
  • by ttg512 (221628) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:10PM (#18279374)
    This seems to be the problem...
    Server: Apache Webserver
    X-Pingback: http://www.billgatesforpresident.net/xmlrpc.php [billgatesf...sident.net]
    X-Powered-By: PHP/4.4.4
    Why would Bill support anything with this kind of response header?
  • Bill Gates is currently testifying before Congress and asking them to remove all limits on H1-B visas. Microsoft is also one of the leading offshorers of US jobs. The net effects of both of these measures is fewer good paying jobs for US citizens and a reduction in our standard of living. Do we want someone who seems to have no care for the very country that allowed him to become so rich to become our President?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by King_TJ (85913)
      While it's true that Gates is lobbying for these changes, the statement that the net effect would be "a reduction in our standard of living" and "fewer good paying jobs for US citizens" is probably still debatable.

      In the short-term, I absolutely agree. But it's the long-term view where I'm less certain. Sometimes, a change for the better involves some short-term pain. Are we *really* offshoring jobs that better our collective "standard of living", or are we just dumping a slew of jobs that are ultimately
  • Interesting link on that page, about exploiting dead celebrities: Yet a new company by the name of KeepYouSafe.com has thrown caution to wind with its issuance of a press release headlined: "ANNA NICOLE SMITH WOULD BE SIX FEET UNDER IF SHE HAD KEEPYOUSAFE.COM."

    Back in the day, the National Lampoon got sued over a spoof VW ad showing a Beetle floating in water (which they will do, for a while). Caption: "If Teddy Kennedy had driven a VW, he'd be President today."

    rj

  • POTUAC (Score:5, Funny)

    by Orange Crush (934731) * on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:15PM (#18279432)

    You're giving up on Mr. Gates's presidential aspirations.

    Cancel or Allow?

  • by BubbaFett (47115) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:15PM (#18279434)
    Gates: I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact.
  • by maynard (3337) <j...maynard...gelinas@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:17PM (#18279462) Journal
    Hey may author a funny comic strip, and more power to him. But his recent forays into defending Intelligent Design on his blog, as well as other poorly thought out posts, has left me wondering just who is he to throw around the epithet "dolt"? Dude should look in the mirror.

    Bill Gates would make a terrible President of the United States. Do we really need another Warren Harding or Calvin Coolidge?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Do we really need another Warren Harding or Calvin Coolidge?

      Yes, specifically another Coolidge. From one of his biographys:

      The political genius of President Coolidge, Walter Lippmann pointed out in 1926, was his talent for effectively doing nothing: "This active inactivity suits the mood and certain of the needs of the country admirably. It suits all the business interests which want to be let alone.... And it suits all those who have become convinced that government in this country has become dangerously

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by maynard (3337)
        And where did those 'no nothing' policies lead? What was the outcome?
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow@wrought.gmail@com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#18279490) Homepage Journal
    Dogbert is a much better and, in the long run, safer choice. The sooner we elect him the less severe our penalties for waiting will be.
  • ...and there is much rejoicing.
  • by rlp (11898) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:27PM (#18279622)
    Adams could just switch his support to Steve Jobs. Jobs could run on a platform to:

    1) Change the name of the US to 'iCountry'.
    2) Ban Thanksgiving
    3) Replace ballistic missile defense with a national reality distortion field.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bassman59 (519820)

      Adams could just switch his support to Steve Jobs. Jobs could run on a platform to:

      3) Replace ballistic missile defense with a national reality distortion field.

      The interesting thing is that the reality distortion field actually works.

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:27PM (#18279626)
    .... That is truly defective by design.
  • by HungWeiLo (250320) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @03:36PM (#18279756)
    When Chinese president Hu Jintao came to the U.S. for a state visit last year, he visited Bill Gates before going on to visit GWB.

    Mr Hu goes to Washington (after he's seen Bill Gates and the Boeing factory) [timesonline.co.uk]
  • Scott Adams should have done a tearful press conference in which he explains that the enormous cost of running a successful presidential campaign is just too much for the world's richest man to afford. There's a certain tradition to these things.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @04:26PM (#18280372)
    It seems that you're trying to invade Iran. I can help you with that...
  • Bill gates is a "Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire." Which in turn makes him ineligible for presidency. Don't take my word for it. I simply trust my history professor.

  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @05:12PM (#18280970)
    That line from Microsoft's past would fit right in at Gitmo...

One small step for man, one giant stumble for mankind.

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