Steve Ballmer builds an open database of government spending

Steve Ballmer builds an open database of government spending

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ur leaders may be determined to make their daily dealings less transparent, but they probably didn’t reckon on bored Steve Ballmer. The former Microsoft CEO has spent more than $10 million on a new project to open up the US government budget. USA Facts, as profiled in the New York Times, is an open, searchable database that tracks where almost all of your federal, state and local tax dollars are spent.

When Ballmer retired from Microsoft in 2014, he initially rejected becoming a philanthropist, believing that the taxes he paid were good enough. But upon wondering where that money was spent, he fell into a data rabbit hole that encouraged him to begin working with the University of Pennsylvania. The result is what is being described as a truly nonpartisan look at revenue and spending across the US.

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