Tuesday April 18, 2017

Steve Ballmer Drops Massive Data Dump on How Tax Dollars Are Spent

It turns out that Steve Ballmer has been doing more than sitting around and watching Clippers gamesآ—for the last three years, he has spent $10M building an open database of government spending. His site, USAFacts, is described as a 10-K that provides numbers on everything from the amount of people in government (24 million) to how much revenue is brought in from parking tickets. I wonder if Ballmer was jumping around and chanting "taxes, taxes, taxes" while this was being developed.

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آ…Mr. Ballmer plans to make public a database and a report that he and a small army of economists, professors and other professionals have been assembling as part of a stealth start-up over the last three years called USAFacts. The database is perhaps the first nonpartisan effort to create a fully integrated look at revenue and spending across federal, state and local governments. Want to know how many police officers are employed in various parts of the country and compare that against crime rates? Want to know how much revenue is brought in from parking tickets and the cost to collect? Want to know what percentage of Americans suffer from diagnosed depression and how much the government spends on it? That’s in there. You can slice the numbers in all sorts of ways.