Balanced budget

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A balanced budget is a budget in which receipts equal (or exceed) outlays. Fiscal conservatives, such as George H. W. Bush favor balanced budgets, while more liberal polticians do not.[1] In the United States, every state except Vermont has laws that require a balanced budget[2] and most local governments are also required to balance their budgets.[3] The Federal Government has no such requirement and may incur a budget deficit.

There are conservatives, such as Bruce Bartlett (a former domestic policy adviser to President Reagan), who oppose a Federal balanced budget. Bartlett argues that a balanced budget amendment would be nearly impossible to enforce.[4] Bartlett, as well as most liberals, also claims that forcing a balanced budget in times of economic downturns would worsen the economy, but that is a Keynesian notion that has been proven false.


  1. [1] US Senate Reference
  2. National Conference of State Legislatures. "State Balanced Budget Provisions." [2]
  3. "State and local balanced budget requirements." Clear on Money
  4. Bartlett, Bruce. "Balanced Budget Amendment a 'Phony' Deficit Solution." The Fiscal Times, 27 August 2010. [3]