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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 ?
Both CBO and OMB project an inability of current services unified budget surpluses to be applied wholly to repay debt by the middle of this decade.
The emerging key fiscal policy need is to address the implications of maintaining surpluses beyond the point at which publicly held debt is effectively eliminated.
The most effective means of raising the level of future resources, in my judgment, is to allow the budget surpluses projected in the coming years to be used to pay down the nation's debt.
While the Administration's rationale for these transfers is to ensure that the surpluses actually materialize, the transfer of general revenues represents a major shift from past practice, under which social security has been financed almost entirely from dedicated payroll taxes.
Indeed, especially in light of these inexorable demographic trends, I have always emphasized that we should be aiming for budgetary surpluses and using the proceeds to retire outstanding federal debt.
Under the Republican plan, with money collected from Social Security surpluses, the government would pay down approximately $2.
And with the White House and Congress about to release separate new projections showing that budget surpluses will be even bigger than expected in coming years, both parties have been seeking ways to put the additional money to their priorities without allowing the other to paint them as fiscally irresponsible.
The surpluses are largely a result of strong tax collections, particularly the personal income tax.
Clinton emphasized his plan for the surpluses when he announced his budget Monday in a White House ceremony.
The outcome of these elections will determine the allocation of fiscal surpluses between tax cuts, spending increases and debt reduction.
has announced that the first House bill, HR 1, to be introduced in the upcoming 106th Congress will force the federal government to stop including the Social Security Trust Fund in calculating budget deficits or surpluses.
The rating upgrade reflects the strong operating surpluses of the bridge system.