Ian Burns

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Henry J. Jacek


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze budget deficits in Canada and the United States from the time period of 1980 until 2000. This thesis will start out with an analysis of the literature surrounding budget deficits and surpluses and will provide a thumbnail sketch of what factors affect budgetary deficits and surpluses. We will then move on to an analysis of these theories examined through the lens of our two case studi es, Canada and the United States from 1980 until 2000. The thesis will end with an analysis of the policies employed in the United States and Canada in order to get their fiscal houses under control.

By the end of this work, I hope that the reader will understand the factors that affected budget policymaking in Canada and the United States from 1980 to 2000. We will discover that Canada tended to pursue a cutback-based solution to budget balance, whereas the United States tended to pursue a revenue-based solution. We will also find that there were differing political factors that affected the outcomes in both nations.

McMaster University Library

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