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In government, the practice of spending more money than is received as revenue, the difference being made up by borrowing or minting new funds. The term usually refers to a conscious attempt to stimulate the economy by lowering tax rates or increasing government expenditures. Critics of deficit financing regularly denounce it as an example of shortsighted government policy. Advocates argue that it can be used successfully in response to a recession or depression, proposing that the ideal of an annually balanced budget should give way to that of a budget balanced over the span of a business cycle. See alsoJohn Maynard Keynes; national debt.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on deficit financing, visit Britannica.com.