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A budget deficit occurs when an entity, usually a government spends more money than it takes in. The opposite is a budget surplus. Budget deficits are important political issues. "Starve-the-beast" strategies usually lead to high budget deficits. Note that this is distinct from the larger national debt, which results from an accumulated deficit across a number of years.

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1 The United States
2 External links

The United States

From 1970 to 1997, the United States Government ran significant deficits. By 1998, budget surpluses became common, lasting through 2001; the U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2003 was $374.2 billion.

An issue about counting so-called "off-budget" items such as Social Security, which are presently running a large surplus, complicates discussion of budget deficits.

Related U.S. legislation

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