A balanced budget (particularly that of a government) is a budget in which revenues are equal to expenditures. Thus, neither a budget deficit nor a budget surplus exists (the accounts "balance"). More generally, it is a budget that has no budget deficit, but could possibly have a budget surplus. A cyclically balanced budget is a budget that is not necessarily balanced year-to-year, but is balanced over the economic cycle, running a surplus in boom years and running a deficit in lean years, with these offsetting over time.
Balanced budgets and the associated topic of budget deficits are a contentious point within academic economics and within politics. Some economists argue that moving from a budget deficit to a balanced budget decreases interest rates, increases investment, shrinks trade deficits and helps the economy grow faster in the longer term. Other economists, especially those associated with Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), downplay the need for balanced budgets among countries that have the power to issue their own currency, and argue that government spending helps boost productivity, innovation and savings in the private sector.