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Federal deficit (surplus)

When federal government expenditures are exceeded by (are less than) federal government revenue.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


The amount by which the revenue of a government from taxes, tariffs and other sources exceeds its expenditures. A surplus means that the budget is likely healthy, at least in the short-term, and in any case the government does not have to resort to borrowing. Some economists believe that a budget surplus or deficit has only minor importance, while others believe that it is very important to maintain a surplus if at all possible. Most U.S. states are required to maintain either a surplus or a balanced budget, while the federal government is not. See also: Federal deficit.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


1. Equity in excess of par value. Surplus includes additional paid-in capital and retained earnings.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The federal surplus property program is already established, so it's just common sense that we should allow veterans to qualify for the program.
We immediately contacted the excess property division for federal surplus vehicles and located a truck out of Rhode Island.
"(They traded) those rights to the federal government for a significant number of federal surplus properties and bidding rights on federal surplus properties," Colt says.
[8] The uncommitted federal surplus remains in jeopardy of being spent.
"WIN recommends that Congress develop and pass, and the president sign, a five-year, $57 billion authorization and appropriations measures offering grants, loans, loan subsidies and credit assistance for basic water infrastructure needs." Calling such a measure "a further refund for the people who created the federal surplus," Tobey said the WIN proposal represents less than half of the interest avoided in a single year on the soon-to-be-paid off $2 trillion national debt.
As regards the future relationship between Greenspan and the Bush administration, the Fed Chairman now sees, in light of upward revised federal surplus estimates, a near-term tax cut as being compatible with longer-term fiscal responsibility.
But Gale curiously seemed far more frightened by the possibility that Americans might get to keep some of their money--er, the federal surplus.
"It's unrealistic to expect that local districts and states can tackle these expensive issues alone, without a full partnership with the federal government, especially in a time of a $350 billion federal surplus."
State Purchasing Agent Ellen Bickelman said the state has 136 contracts providing goods such as computers, baked goods and bottled water, and oversees sales of state and federal surplus goods ranging from file cabinets to tugboats, of which communities can take advantage.
As discussion and debate intensify in Congress over the size and timing of a tax cut, city officials are being advised by allies on the Hill to communicate to Congress the importance of using some of the federal surplus to invest in the future of our cities and towns, and not solely to provide relief to tax payers.
The paydown of debt associated with the federal surplus has helped to hold down longer-term interest rates, which in turn has encouraged capital formation and reduced debt burdens.

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