GAO Glossary of Terms and Definitions (September 2005)

Means of Financing

Ways in which a budget deficit is financed or a budget surplus is used. A budget deficit may be financed by the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) (or agency) borrowing, by reducing Treasury cash balances, by the sale of gold, by seigniorage, by net cash flows resulting from transactions in credit financing accounts, by allowing certain unpaid liabilities to increase, or by other similar transactions. It is customary to separate total means of financing into “change in debt held by the public” (the government’s debt, which is the primary means of financing) and “other means of financing” (seigniorage, change in cash balances, transactions of credit financing accounts, etc.). (See also Debt, Federal; Debt Service; Financing Account under Credit Reform Accounts under Federal Credit; Seigniorage.)

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Mid-Session Review of the Budget