US economy

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This page is a portal for articles and information about various aspects of the United States economy, including:

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  • budget deficit: the amount of money which the United States must borrow in order to meet the federal budget; such borrowing increases the public debt. Opposite of budget surplus.
  • budget surplus: the amount of money left over in the federal budget after everything has been allocated. This money can be used to pay off the public debt. (Note: not sure if it automatically does this, or if there are other things that can be done with it.) Opposite of budget deficit.
  • public debt: the amount of money owed by the United States federal government to creditors who hold US Debt Instruments. This does not include the money owed by states, corporations, or individuals, nor does it include the money owed to Social Security beneficiaries in the future. Common synonyms include: national debt, gross federal debt, U.S. government debt Creditors charge interest on the public debt, so it increases each year unless there is a budget surplus sufficient to (at least) pay off that year's interest.
  • external debt: that portion of the debt of all sectors of the economy (public and private) which is owed to foreigners. Foreign ownership of the public debt is a significant part of the United States's external debt.

A budget deficit increases the public debt; a budget surplus can decrease it, but only if there is still some left over after paying off that year's interest.



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