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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg said at a town hall in New Hampshire Sunday that the "time has come" for Democrats to do something about the budget deficit, which is projected to exceed $1 trillion under President Trump in 2020, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The 2020 Democratic field has focused little on the question of reducing the national debt, with Buttigieg himself acknowledging that it's "not fashionable in progressive circles."

  • The White House is preparing to introduce a budget proposal on Monday that would fail to eliminate the federal deficit over the next 10 years, despite Trump's campaign promise that he would do so by 2024, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: The comments seemed to be directed in part at fellow New Hampshire front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Buttigieg and other moderate candidates have criticized over the cost of his signature Medicare for All proposal.

  • "[I]f we’re spending more and more on debt service now, it makes it harder to invest in infrastructure and health and safety net that we need right now," Buttigieg argued on Sunday, two days ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

Between the lines: Younger Americans seem to be on board with the growing economic consensus that the national debt is not a pressing problem, with just 14.1% of those surveyed in a Harris Poll for Axios naming it as a top-three issue.

  • Americans over the age of 55 are more than twice as likely to cite the national debt as a top problem than Americans under the age of 39.

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.