(Reason) A few weeks back, I noted the story of James Mussenden, a retired city manager from El Monte, California.
A quick recap: in a town where more than a quarter of the population is living below the poverty line, and where the median household income is a mere $32,000, Mussenden is pulling down a $216,000 annual pension (along with free healthcare and annual cost of living increases). The Los Angeles Times uncovered Mussenden's outrageous pension—which, as the paper reported, he feels awkward talking about with his golf buddies.
With retirement promises like that, it's no surprise that El Monte is dealing with one of the worst pension crises in a state full of municipal pension messes. Last year, more than a quarter of the city's budget was spent on benefits for retired public workers.
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