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SURPLUS. That which is left from a fund which has been appropriated for a particular purpose; the remainder of a thing; the overplus the residue. (q.v.) See 18 Ves. 466.
     2. The following is an example of a surplus; if a thing be put in pledge as a security to pay one hundred dollars, and it be afterwards sold for one hundred and fifty dollars, the fifty dollars will be the surplus. Wolff, Inst. Sec. 697. See Overplus; Residue.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Under such a long-term outlook, a temporary period of accumulating federal surpluses constitutes a double-edged sword: It presents an opportunity for implementing fiscal reforms but also creates the risk that lawmakers will assume additional spending commitments, worsening the already ominous long-term budget picture.
Federal surpluses do not always buy new plants and equipment; they could finance housing, consumer debt, or the next Internet start-up.
"I believe we need to make hard choices about how to spend any federal surpluses. To a large extent, we have mortgaged the future of our children.
The overall surplus is more than accounted for by the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance surplus, which is already used to finance future social security benefits, so there is double-counting in using these federal surpluses again for retirement programs, whether to finance individual accounts or to finance future social security spending.
That loomed as a possibility not long ago when federal surpluses opened the possibility of using use tax dollars to maintain public lands.
One might ask an awkward question: If fiscal surpluses produce such benefits, why are market interest rates rising again now, when federal surpluses are also surging?

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