Greek Debt Crisis Is Warning for US
Partisan deadlock allowed budget problems to fester
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2010 1:24 AM CST
Athenians walk past the Bank of Greece as riot police, bottom left, hold their positions during a student demonstration in central Athens.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

(Newser) – America's on course to become much more like Greece and not in a good way, warns Anne Applebaum. Greece is bankrupt because of financial weaknesses that were allowed to fester for years. Its budget deficit ballooned largely because the nation's deeply partisan political system was paralyzed and no cuts could be made to social services, Applebaum writes in the Washington Post.

The same partisanship and paralysis in America mean that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, farm subsidies, and possibly even health care can't be reformed, setting the US on the same road to bankruptcy, Applebaum writes. "Our sheer size, our entrepreneurship and our relatively open business culture will keep us going for a long time," she notes. "But the Greek crisis shows that the combination of debt and political deadlock can be deadly."