Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has begun a new venture, a supposedly nonpartisan group known as USAFacts which aims to track the spending of federal funds.
The New York Times reports that following Ballmer’s departure from Microsoft he began to question exactly where his tax money was going. This lead to the creation of USAFacts, which in Ballmer’s words seeks to “figure out what the government really does with the money.”
“What really happens?” Ballmer said. He plans to make a public database and a full report compiled by him and economists, professors, and other professionals who have been working for the past three years on Ballmer’s secret startup project.
“You know, when I really wanted to understand in depth what a company was doing, Amazon or Apple, I’d get their 10-K and read it,” said Ballmer to the New York Times, referencing Form 10-K which companies must file with the SEC to report their financial performance. “It’s wonky, it’s this, it’s that, but it’s the greatest depth you’re going to get, and it’s accurate.”
Ballmer’s new website aims to allow citizens to discover any information about the expenditure of their tax dollars, such as how much revenue do airports take in and spend or what percentage of overall tax revenue is paid by corporations.
“I would like citizens to be able to use this to form intelligent opinions,” said Ballmer. “People can disagree about what to do — I’m not going to tell people what to do.” But, he said, people ought to base their opinions “on common data sets that are believable.”