Traditionally, budgetary scholars focus on deficit politics in Western democracies, emphasizing budgetary conflicts among budgetary actors over different strategies to balance budgets. While most countries are facing budget deficits, some countries and regions are experiencing budget surpluses. However, surplus politics, and its comparison with deficit politics, remains underexplored. This study is a pioneer attempt to compare the similarities and differences between deficit politics and surplus politics, using Hong Kong and Singapore as binary cases. Copyright © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.