In a message dated 7/9/98 7:33:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< I never quite got this "budget surplus" thing; people keep saying that
the budget is balanced or even has a surplus, yet the national debt
on 7/7/98 was:
Basically, there is a surplus if the funds brought in exceed the funds expended, and there is a deficit if the funds brought in are less than the funds expended. The debt is the sum total of all surpluses minus all deficits.
So of course one can have surpluses when one has debt.