Bill Gates on accounting – tell us what you do in Ireland before you lecture US states

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The Wall Street Journal reports:

Billionaire Bill Gates on Thursday agitated for state governments to adopt "clear and honest" accounting of their budgets, saying states' true finances are being obscured from voters and threaten America's public-education system.

Speaking at a meeting here of leading thinkers known as the TED conference, Mr. Gates said that state budgets need more scrutiny and should follow more-transparent accounting principles, such as those used by Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp, which Mr. Gates co-founded.

"It's riddled with gimmicks," Mr. Gates said of the "tricks" states use to balance their budgets. Citing moves such as selling state assets and deferring payments, he said some methods are "so blatant and extreme," that "Enron would blush," referring to the energy company that collapsed a decade ago amid an accounting scandal.

Oh dear Bill. Microsoft and Google. Two companies who artificially make their sales from Ireland to avoid tax that might pay for education world wide.

And in the case of Microsoft, when I helped Glenn Simpson of the Wall Street Journal expose the facts in 2005 they adopted unlimited status in Ireland to avoid further disclosure.

And yet Bill you're lecturing about transparency? And artificiality? Have you ever read that one about removing the plank from your own eye first?

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