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Federal deficit (surplus)

When federal government expenditures are exceeded by (are less than) federal government revenue.


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.


1. Equity in excess of par value. Surplus includes additional paid-in capital and retained earnings.
References in periodicals archive ?
Higher effective taxes and lower discretionary outlays have led to a surge in federal surpluses.
The federal surpluses for the last several years surprised many students of budgeting.
To be sure, with the burgeoning federal surpluses, fiscal policy has not yet been unduly compromised by such actions.
Because the Social Security program itself contributes most of the projected federal surpluses, recommending the use of these surpluses to "save" Social Security makes no sense.
spending any projected federal surpluses before they even materialize; and

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