Steve Ballmer is the predecessor of current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who was appointed back in 2014. While the "colorful" executive wasn't exactly considered successful in his 14 years of tenure by many, very few can claim that he wasn't passionate about Microsoft and its products. He is attributed with many notable achievements, along with writing the text for the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). After his retirement, Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team for a sizeable $2 billion in 2014.
Now, Ballmer has announced his latest endeavor, saying that along with a team of professionals, he has created a public website which documents government expenditure.
According to The New York Times, Steve Ballmer stated that as a citizen, he didn't care whether he gives tax money to federal, state, or local authorities, but it's important to know how that money is being spent. Ballmer feels that many taxpayers feel the same way, and to tackle the issue, he has unveiled a new website dubbed USAFacts, which details "what the government really does with the money".
Ballmer says that the data trove has been created with the aid of researchers and economists in Seattle, and a grant was paid to the University of Pennsylvania to organize all available information as well. All in all, the project has cost him $10 million so far. However, Ballmer states that he is happy to "fund the damn thing" regardless of the cost.
The LA Clippers owner has clarified that the public database has been created based solely on the information provided by over 70 government sources in order to avoid bias. As such, it won't contain data as to the total number of firearms in the country. Ballmer says:
[There is data for the number of firearms manufactured, licenses, inspections] along with other data, but not a total. I can’t show it! I’m shocked! But the N.R.A. apparently has lobbied in such a way government can’t report the data.
Steve Ballmer views USAFacts as a philanthropic donation and a civic contribution. You can check out his website here.
Thanks to Jim K for the tip!