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Harrisburg Hoping God Can Help Balance the Books
CNBC.com | June 21, 2011 | 11:46 AM EDT

If all the brightest minds in Harrisburg’s government can’t solve the city’s financial problems, maybe God can.

That seems to be the thinking in Pennsylvania’s capital city, where Mayor Linda Thompson and a host of other religious leaders are about to embark on a three-day fast and prayer campaign to cure the city’s daunting money woes.

Maybe Greece should have thought of this.

“Things that are above and beyond my control, I need God,” Thompson told WHTM TV, the region’s ABC news affiliate. “I depend on Him for guidance. Spiritual guidance. That’s why it’s really no struggle for me to join this fast and prayer.”

But judging by its financial picture, the city of 49,000 in the central part of the Keystone State may not even have a prayer.

According to a recent analysis from the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, Harrisburg is likely to end the year with a nearly $3.5 million deficit in its $58 million budget, and things are only expected to get worse.

By 2015, the deficit is likely to be $10.4 million, which will eat up about 16 percent of the city’s general fund budget.

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