A Bit of a Tight Spot


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...

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