“Akerlof: “… As of March 2003, the CBO estimated that the surplus for the next decade would approximately reach one trillion dollars. But this projection assumes, among other questionable things, that spending until 2013 is going to be constant in real dollar terms. That has never been the case. And with the current tax cuts, a realistic estimate would be a deficit in excess of six trillion.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the government’s just bad at doing the correct math?

Akerlof: There is a systematic reason. The government is not really telling the truth to the American people. Past administrations from the time of Alexander Hamilton have on the average run responsible budgetary policies. What we have here is a form of looting.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: If so, why’s the President still popular?

Akerlof: For some reason the American people does not yet recognize the dire consequences of our government budgets. It’s my hope that voters are going to see how irresponsible this policy is and are going to respond in 2004 and we’re going to see a reversal. “

> From an interview of George Akerlof, economist at UC-Berkeley and Nobel Prize winner in economics in 2001, in the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Author: Rob