Steve Ballmer Launches New Tool That Accounts US Government Spending
Remember Steve Ballmer? The former Microsoft CEO and Clippers owner? Well, he just launched a new tool to account US government spending, but the best part is, it's accessible to the average Joe.
This Tax Day, Balmer started USAFacts.org, its a website that gives North America's plain Janes and ordinary Joe's a big picture of where their tax money ends up. Interestingly it has a subcategory that takes you to a more detailed page to give you a more comprehensive breakdown of US spending.
According to NPR, the website has been slow and buggy due to high levels of traffic during its launch. The site offers US citizens with graphics that show data on revenue, spending, demographics and program missions.
According to his correspondence with The New York Times, Ballmer said that he wants the project to be "completely apolitical" and claimed that the site is "factual and unbiased."
However, this isn't the first time that a website was commissioned to bring government spending transparent to citizens. According to Wired, the US government launched Data.gov in 2009 to account for its statistics.
Furthermore, former POTUS Barrack Obama passed the DATA Act in 2014 to get record keeping standards up to date. Aside from the website, there is also OpenGov that also "tries to organize and parse government data."
But according to the same article by Wired, Ballmer's project stands out for its use of custom graphics that make the figures more comprehensible. In any case, data never exists in a vacuum and "infographics" are often editorialized.
For his part, the NBA team owner reiterated that the site avoids taking positions in policy. Reportedly, the website stated that "whether government money is spent wisely or not... that's for you to decide."
USAFacts.org added that "we hope to spur serious, reasoned, and informed debate on the purpose and functions of government."
For more details, you can check out CNBC's live report below.