Finance: Borrowing at the Ballot Box

Willing as they are to go into debt as consumers, as voters Americans tend to pinch pennies. Just a year ago, in an atmosphere of general uneasiness over inflation and rising interest rates, they voted down fully half of the $2.3 billion in proposed public-bond issues that were on the ballot across the nation. Not this year. Facing a staggering $3.5 billion in bond proposals at the polls last week—second highest total in U.S. history—voters enthusiastically turned thumbs up.

In all, an overwhelming 90% of the bonds were approved. New York's record $2.5 billion transportation program...

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