This piece by Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair was recommended to me by my son Nathan. And he was right. It's the story of the bankrupting of cities and towns around the nation, focusing primarily on California, where the problem seems to be about the worst. It's both enlightening and entertaining, particularly his bike ride with former Gov. Schwartzenegger.
Bottom line seems to be that California managed to get into a position of political paralysis over the years, which didn't allow the kind of fiscal responsibility that is necessary. Now, things have hit the fan and government, particularly at the local level, is crumbling.