When the General Assembly convenes in January, legislators will face a budget predicted to have $1.2 billion more in expenses than projected revenue. As John Hood told readers of the Watauga Democrat in Boone, that’s deficit #5. How will that dilemma be solved? In all likelihood, tax increases of one kind or another. “Right now, as the rest of North Carolina happily prepares for a joyous holiday season and tries wistfully to forget politics and government for a while, the political class is studying, scheming, and strategizing,” he wrote. And what are they up to? “They’ve just got to figure out the most expedient way to lift your wallet,” he explained.