In 1835 it was the only time in the history of our country. I stumbled upon this little tidbit and thought with our current federal debt this was an interesting tidbit. In 1835 Andrew Jackson was president, his nickname was Old Hickory. He has since been praised for his stance and protection of Individual Liberties and democracy. However, he's equally rebuffed for his position on Indian Removal and Slavery.
I don't know enough as to why the government was able to propose a zero balance on the public debt but it could make for an interesting comment or two for our characters set in 1835. Also, this budget was set on Jan. 8, 1835.