July 29, 2011 | By Bill Gates
Can USA Inc. Avoid Bankruptcy?
Bill’s strong belief in the importance of education and health has made him increasingly concerned about the finances of U.S. state governments and about the growing federal deficit. To help Americans understand the growing crisis in public finance, Bill recommends a new report.
I gave a talk on state budgets at TED2011, where I said that states use accounting tricks to make their budgets look balanced. I tried to show why states need to make some hard choices to be able to continue providing essential services, such as public education. Similar budget problems are also confronting the federal government today, for similar reasons, but on an even larger scale.
That’s made very clear by USA Inc., an excellent, new, non-partisan report. It’s by Mary Meeker, a highly respected financial analyst and partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, the very successful venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. Mary’s report looks at the financials of the U.S. government as a business. It vividly demonstrates why the United States is headed toward bankruptcy unless we act decisively to reduce expenses and increase revenues. I want to encourage everyone to read USA Inc. and get involved in helping all levels of government to make the right choices that will put our nation’s public finances on a more sustainable course.