A Bit of a Tight Spot

STATE BUDGET CRISES

George Bush told reporters last week that a "fiscal straitjacket" is good for government. Maybe he should ask Mike Easley how it feels. Easley became Governor of North Carolina in January, dreaming of smaller class sizes and a prescription-drug benefit for seniors. These weren't wild fantasies; his predecessor, fellow Democrat Jim Hunt, doled out plums for eight years while the economy boomed--a pre-kindergarten program for low-income kids, big pay raises for teachers, $1.5 billion in tax cuts.

But Easley woke up from his sweet dreams to find his arms pinned to his sides. During his first five months in office, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!