Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, revealed that he has been working on a project to precisely track government spending.
After retiring from Microsoft in 2014, Ballmer said he didn't have anything to do, The New York Times reports. He came up with USAFacts, a startup that became public on Tuesday. It employs numerous economists, professors and other experts to track federal, state and local spending as precisely as possible.
I would like citizens to be able to use this to form intelligent opinions.
Ballmer said the site should let citizens look up questions like how many police officers were employed in a certain area, how that compared to crime rates, how much money is made from parking tickets, and many more.
He compared it to a "10-K for government," referring to the annual tax filing in the business world.
The project has an "unlimited budget," according to the Times report. Ballmer has already spent more than $10 million on direct funding and grants. He said he's "happy to fund the damn thing."
Ballmer said he wants the project to be non-partisan. He has donated to politicians on both sides of the aisle. But already he has said some of the research has changed his own political beliefs, particular research into mortgage-interest tax deductions.
He insists on only using government data, but that has created its own challenges. Ballmer said he was "shocked" that the government couldn't report certain gun-related data.
Right now, the site is very slow, but promises
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