"That's ordinary income", he noted.
The tech titan did concede that taxes "can be more progressive", including issues such as the estate tax and the tax on capital, the way the FICA and Social Security operate.
Gates, who appeared on the show with his wife, Melinda Gates, to promote their foundation's annual letter, made similar comments about the tax code to the Verge. "Nobody does. It has come through timing, luck, and through people I worked with".
During the podcast, Gates also weighed in on a number of ideas that Ocasio-Cortez and more progressive lawmakers, including Sen. His view may be more closely aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed a "wealth tax" that slaps a 2 per cent tax on households worth $50 or more, and 3 percent for those with a fortune worth $1 billion or more. "But we can be more progressive without really threatening income generation - what you have left to decide how to spread around".
"If you focus on that, you're missing the picture", he said without mentioning the Democratic socialist congresswoman by name.
According to IRS statistics, the top 400 earners in 2014 paid a 23.13 per cent tax rate, earning $127 billion in total and paying $29.4 billion in taxes, the libertarian think tank American Enterprise Institute reported.
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has pushed raising the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent on income over $10 million.
Ocasio-Cortez used an appearance on CBS "60 Minutes" to pitch her plan to tax double-digit millionaires at a 70 percent rate - taking care to note the amount below that threshold would be taxed at lower amounts. 'That doesn't mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate.
"I'm going to be the bad guy, which I'm sure half the room would agree with anyway, and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible, ideally to enrich myself and advance my interests, even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people", the New York Democrat began.