Originally Posted by INFERNO
Balanced budget is a goal, not an imperative.
I wouldn't even say it's a goal, to be honest.
For example, Ireland is now getting a handle on the crisis, the next step needs to be thinking about paying back the debt, so by, say, 2015, Ireland should be running a few percent surplus, to gradually pay it back.
It should run that for as long as possible, until the inevitable next crisis/recession.