Harrisburg: The national museum of bad government ideas

How Harrisburg Borrowed Itself Into Bankruptcy


The Harrisburg case raises fundamental questions about the way cities and states increasingly use debt to finance speculative development that private investors or lenders won't touch. From minor league stadiums to arenas, museums, downtown redevelopment and waste plants with unproven technologies, billions have been spent on schemes of questionable value. Some projects are backed by unrealistic economic projections, which leave taxpayers on the hook for bond payments or operating subsidies. These deals are one reason why state and local debt outstanding has ballooned from $1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion in the last decade, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Perhaps the country does need a national museum of bad government ideas. Harrisburg would be a good place for it.

Comment: There is no real "Museum of Bad Government Ideas"! Image above is the famous Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House which provided the exterior facade for the House on Haunted Hill, a 1959 B movie

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