The Public Interest

Deficit delusion

Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Summer 1986

THE LAST FIVE YEARS have witnessed an enormous hue and cry over federal government deficits. No wonder. Since 1981 government debt held by the public has more than doubled. The current $1.7 trillion in debt corresponds to over $7,000 for each man, woman, and child in the country. The interest alone on this debt will total roughly $600 per person this year.

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