The issue:

Except for 4 years around the turn of the century, the U.S. has run pretty consistent budget deficits for more than 40 years, even as members of both parties have pledged to balance the budget.

The facts:

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Data: Congressional Budget Office

Why it matters:

For the past eight years, Republican deficit hawks blasted Obama for running budget deficits. But the GOP may be switching gears as a spending splurge is expected under Trump. Tea Party Republicans that fought for, and won, cuts to government spending will now find themselves in conflict with their own president, who wants to spend not cut.

Go deeper

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The big picture: Democrats have already leapt on the Times' bombshell, which Trump has dismissed as "total fake news," to attack the president for allegedly paying less in federal income taxes than the average middle-class household.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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