Billionaire Chokes Up

VIDEO: Billionairs on the Economy

On a special edition of "This Week," philanthropist and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer said he believes the rich should pay more in taxes.

"You said that you would be willing to have your taxes higher. Many Americans, particularly those who are successful say, hang on, I did this work, this is a capitalist society, this is my just reward. You disagree with that notion," anchor Christiane Amanpour asked Steyer.

"I certainly do," he said.

"Because?" Amanpour asked.

"I think anyone who doesn't give credit to the system that they are born into is taking an awful lot onto themselves. I mean, I really think that people have sacrificed a lot more than a little tax money to make that system available for all of us. And I would be ashamed of myself if I didn't give some credit to them," Steyer said, choking up and pausing to regain his composure.

"It's emotional for you," Amanpour said. "Do you feel we're in trouble?"

"No," said Steyer, a partner at the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management. "I think the U.S. is great. I think that people need some ideas. I think that they need a strategic sense. But I have enormous confidence in Americans to work hard and to be smart and to do the right thing."

Amanpour's interview with Steyer and his wife Kat was part of a special edition of "This Week" on the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic endeavor spearheaded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. It "is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes," according to its founding statement.

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