by Rick Ackerman
How did Stockton, California get mired so deeply in muck, stuck with paying an estimated $417 million over the next 30 years to provide free lifetime healthcare to its pampered workers? The short answer is that voters were too busy to care about such things. Indeed, if they’d attended city council meetings or kept up with the minutes from those meetings, they’d have realized a decade ago that the city was on a path to financial disaster. Instead, irresponsible and too lazy to be bothered, they paid little attention to how their tax dollars were allocated by a city government that turns out to have been either grossly incompetent, recklessly negligent or a combination of both. Now Stockton and its workers are in a full-tilt battle over whether the latter will ultimately receive all of the absurdly generous retirement benefits they were promised.