Ever wonder how the money you send to the Federal,. state and local governments are spent? Fortunately for us, Steve Ballmer had the same thought. However, unlike us, he had $10 million laying around to answer that question. The result: USAFacts.org.
Calling itself the “first-of-its-kind platform to help interested citizens learn the facts about government in a comprehensive, nonpartisan way.” This gift from Ballmer to the public is effectively a non-partisan data base that compiles information from more than 70 government resources to help you find out how paid taxes from individuals, corporations and others are being used at the federal, state and local levels. The $10 million project is the result of work by a team of economists, professors and other professionals dedicated to getting the information right. The team of website builders opted to use government data and not any third-party data, so no one can accuse them of bias
Ballmer calls it “the equivalent of a 10-K for government,” a reference to the annual reports that publicly traded companies like Microsoft file for their shareholders. Ballmer said he has no partisan agenda. And the project has opened his eyes. For instance, he said, the federal government provides 50 to 90 percent of the funding for nonprofits that combat things like poverty. According to USAFacts government revenue totaled $5.2 trillion in 2014, the most recent year for such data. Some 60% of that is from the federal government, and the rest is from state and local governments. Ballmer claims to have been shocked by how hard it was to get accurate data about government spending and the fact that governments employ almost 24 million people in the U.S.
Thanks to him, this data won’t prove so elusive to others……….although there’s no word from the Trump Administration whether they’ll pay this database any heed in their alt-fact world-view.