This Tax Day, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched a new tool designed to make government spending and revenue more accessible to the average citizen.
The website — USAFacts.org — has been slow and buggy for users on Tuesday, apparently due to the level of traffic. It offers interactive graphics showing data on revenue, spending, demographics and program missions.
For example, the site prominently features an infographic created to break down revenue and spending in 2014. Revenue is broken down by origin; spending is broken down by what “mission” of government it serves, based on the functions laid out in the Constitution.
It’s a big-picture view of where U.S. tax dollars come from, and how they’re spent. But click on a subcategory and you’re taken to a more detailed, granular view of that spending.
Ballmer didn’t create the site because he was an expert on government data. Quite the opposite, according to The New York Times’ Dealbook.
The Times says that Ballmer’s wife was pushing her newly-retired husband to get more involved in philanthropy. Ballmer said — according to his own memory, as he described the conversation to the Times — “But come on, doesn’t the government take care of the poor, the sick, the old?”
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