A legacy of generous spending, combined with high unemployment and poor planning, is making the likelihood of U.S. municipal default more likely. Fortune reports that Detroit; Harrisburg, Penn.; and Jefferson County, Ala., are the most likely American municipalities to leave already burdened taxpayers reeling from a growing inability to repay debts.
Detroit's woes are well known. Harrisburg, whose bond-interest payments this year exceed its entire budget, is negotiating with Covanta Holding's
Although a Greek-style meltdown is unlikely here, the growing likelihood of defaults is enough to make an already stressed-out and fiscally stretched public even more anxious about prospects for economic recovery. What can municipalities do to get back on track? How much near-term pain will be necessary to achieve long-term gain? Sound off in the comments box below.