What is a Budget Deficit? - Definition, Causes & History


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Which of the following is the best explanation of a government budget deficit?

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1. What are two ways that revenue can decline and cause a budget deficit?

2. Deficits have been _________ common than surpluses during the past 50 years.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

These assessment tools will help you gauge your knowledge of how the government can amass so much debt. To do well on the quiz questions, you'll need to know how to define a government budget deficit and identify what may cause such a deficit.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

The quiz and worksheet give you the chance to review:

  • The best explanation of a government budget deficit
  • Two ways revenue can decline
  • Occurrences of deficits versus surpluses
  • Causes of an unanticipated deficit
  • How the government stimulates economic growth during a downturn

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer a question about how often surpluses have occurred
  • Interpreting information - verify you can read information regarding the reasons of unanticipated deficits and interpret it correctly
  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related budget deficit lesson

Additional Learning

Our lesson called What is a Budget Deficit? - Definition, Causes & History contains a video and transcript to help you explore this topic even more. The lesson's objectives include the following:

  • Define what a budget deficit is
  • Understand debt's relationship to a budget deficit
  • Appreciate the simple and complex causes involved in a deficit
  • Know the history behind the U.S. budget deficit