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Steve Ballmer onstage at the 2018 New York Times Dealbook. Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Steve Ballmer's USAFacts is out with its third annual report looking at the world through the eyes of government data. His nonprofit is founded on the belief that, armed with more details, voters will be able to make better decisions.

The bottom line: Rising federal deficits, soaring health care costs, lowering life expectancies, and rising fire suppression costs are among the report's main findings.

Details:

  • Rising deficits: "Prior to passage of the (tax reform) law in 2017, the federal government took in $3.2 trillion in taxes while running a $665 billion deficit. According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), deficits could increase over the next ten years by $1.1–2.3 trillion, depending on economic growth."
  • Health costs soar but life expectancies don't: "We spend $2.9 trillion, or $9,107 per person, on healthcare in the United States, an increase of 59% since 1999. Over this same period, however, we haven’t seen improvements in our life expectancy.
  • Fire costs surging: In 2018, total federal government expenditures for fire suppression costs reached a record $3 billion in 2018, a nearly 100% increase over 2008. And that pales to the broader economic impact to affected communities.

What they're saying:

"It seems like such a simple thing to bring together the data produced by our own government so we can get a clear picture of how we are doing as a country — but the reality is no one agency is tasked with it, and a lot of it is hard to find."
"We know the solutions to the challenges we identify in this annual report will be the subject of hot debate, but we should all be able to see the facts and agree that these are the challenges.”
USAFacts founder Steve Ballmer, to Axios

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bill Clinton hospitalized for non-COVID-related infection

Former President Bill Clinton. Photo: Win McNamee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday for a non-COVID-related infection, his spokesperson Angel Ureña said Thursday.

The latest: In an update on Friday, Ureña said Clinton's health indicators are "trending in the right direction, including his white blood count which has decreased significantly."