The city of Harrisburg is Ground Zero for America’s municipal debt crisis.
Pennsylvania’s capital city has liabilities estimated at $610 million, which is nearly 10 times its annual budget. The city is so deep in the red that last year it attempted to file for bankruptcy. Reckless spending did more than ruin Harrisburg’s balance sheet; it crowded out private industry and distracted from the city’s core functions. Today, Harrisburg is a dangerous, poverty-stricken city, with failing schools and a shrinking population.