Definition of deficit spending
: the spending of public funds raised by borrowing rather than by taxation
First Known Use of deficit spending
Financial Definition of DEFICIT SPENDING
What It Is
How It Works
Fiscal deficits occur when a government's expenditures exceed its revenue. A government usually borrows money (by issuing Treasury securities or similar instruments) to fill the gap or "fund the deficit."
Trade deficits (also called current account deficits) occur when a country imports more than it exports.
Why It Matters
Deficit spending is controversial. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes argued that it stimulated economies by giving governments the money to purchase goods and services and were thus particularly useful for getting countries out of recessions. However, many scholars also argue that governments should not engage in deficit spending regularly because the mountain of debt they create makes for unsustainable economies in the long run.
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