by John Nothdurft, Sheila Weinberg
June 20, 2013
The economic recession that began in 2007 exposed and aggravated a government debt crisis that had been brewing for many years at the national, state, and municipal levels of the U.S. Slow or negative economic growth, falling housing values, and rising costs for social safety-net programs came together to make it impossible to hide the extent to which governments are borrowing to pay for current operations and shortchanging their workers’ pension funds. While many studies have analyzed the current debt level of the federal government and to a lesser extent that of state governments, there has been little research on county and municipal debt. This report seeks to begin to fill that void.