This book argues that increasingly arcane budget processes rivet voter and media attention on federal on-budget activity while simultaneously increasing the cost of monitoring politicians' actions. This enables politicians to say one thing and do another; to rail against "big government" while systematically expanding its reach. Roth distinguishes this book by his emphasis on the role of contrived information asymmetry in the principal-agent relationship between voters and their elected representatives. The analysis suggests that, given their agents' propensity to obfuscate, voters cannot rely on ideological or statutory restraints on the growth of government. Contents: Foreword; Acknowledgements; Information asymmetry and the Growth of Government; Ideology Overwhelmed: The Reagan Years; Ideology and the Principal-Agent Problem; Federal On-Budget Activity: Rhetoric vs. Reality; The Federal Underground Economy; The Erosion of Freedom; Freedom Defended; Notes; Index.