The uncertainty about the federal budget means the government is particularly inefficient and could hinder attempts to make future plans, such as the efforts to eradicate polio, said Microsoft legend Bill Gates.
The co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports initiatives in education, world health and population, and community giving in the Pacific Northwest, now spends most of his time trying to eradicate the disease. He hopes to reach his goal, which is numerically-driven, by 2018.
“When you want to make a plan that’s going to take multiple years, you won’t know if you have the money. If you’re going to hire someone great from the private sector, you’re going to have a hard time because of all of those uncertainties,” he said in March on Morning Joe.
Earlier this week, President Obama presented his 2014 budget to Congress. It includes $1.8 trillion in additional deficit reduction over 10 years through a combination of targeted cuts to wasteful spending, entitlement reforms, and new revenue. The budget also seeks to “turn off” the sequester and would include entitlement cuts that were part of the president’s original offer to Speaker John Boehner last year.
The lack of direction in the country makes certain programs less effective than they would normally be, Gates said during the interview. There are limited dollars to contribute to foreign aid, but an overwhelming amount of social need. Gates hopes for 90% of children to receive vaccine drops, which is a billion dollar cost each year for the next six years.
There is a bipartisan agreement in the Senate for a program that could be expanded to allow the people who come from overseas to earn an education in the United States and start working in high-paying jobs, which would create other jobs around them. But the broad immigration bill makes it harder for that program to surface, Gates said.
“The whole world looks to us as the leader,” he said. “They want us to do things well, to set an example, to keep being generous and have a model of excellence even in things like healthcare where we’ve had such challenges.”
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