Would the agency in charge of gathering data on the budget deficit “massage” the numbers to make the deficit look worse?
“Greeks Investigate Statistics Chief Over Deficit Figure,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2015 A8. A prosecutor filed criminal charges alleging falsification of data (they don’t have 18 USC §1519 in Greece) against the head of the statistics agency. Was the deficit 4% of GDP in 2009 or 15%? More than a rounding error.
What happens if government numbers are a political football? Who’s watching this?