Definition of Balanced Budget
What is meant by the term "balanced budget"? What does the term "balanced budget" mean?
A "balanced budget", when referring to a federal government, occurs when:
1) a government expects revenues to match expenses for an upcoming fiscal year
2) a government actually balances revenues with expenses
In short, a "balanced budget" can be predicted based on expected revenues and expenses, or the term "balanced budget" can be used when a government actually balances a budget.
Example #1: "The federal government expects to have a balanced budget by 2014"
Example #2: "Due to a second half surge in the economy, the XYZ federal government surprised many by posting a balanced budget in 2009"
Balanced budgets, on the federal government level, are exceedingly rare in this day and age.
If a government spends more than it takes in, then it will post a deficit.
If a government takes in more than it spends, then it will post a surplus.
The last time that the United States posted a surplus? 2001.
Expenses consist of things such as Social Security, defense and spending on education. Revenues consist of things such as individual income tax receipts and corporate income tax receipts.
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