Oh, I think $85 billion would buy a nice little fleet. It would easily be enough for all the ships in a carrier battle group, but I’m too lazy too add up the costs for air wing, so I’ll do a quick n dirty calculation: roughly $30 million per aircraft, times 80 aircraft, is $2.4 billion per air wing. $4.5 billion per carrier, $1 billion per major escort, and some more for some other ships. I don’t know diddly about operating costs.
Here’s a source: http://cgi.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/battlegroup/elementssans.html
By the way, I’m assuming use of Yank billions throughout, i.e. thousand millions.
Wait a minute! Does Bill Gates really have $85 billion? Can I have some? I promise not to use it to buy a private navy to threaten world peace! I’ll blow it all on DVDs and brie! I mean, I knew the guy was rich and all, but $85 billion seems kinda steep.