The same addiction to good times that forced Detroit to declare bankruptcy on Thursday could fell the United States, a conservative columnist warns.
Detroit is a classic example of a city that was once at its peak with a strong auto industry, but as its economic success began to decline, it was not able to adapt, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report."
"The auto industry was running the world in the '50s after the Second World War when there was no competition, so they got used to the great union benefits, the retirement, healthcare . . ." Krauthammer said. "When hard times arrived it was impossible in the end to do anything because it would be seen as a cruel reduction of X, Y and Z. And now they end up where everybody's going to get a haircut."
That's the same story of the United States, Krauthammer said. Entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare threaten to put the entire country on the brink, he argued.
"Living on the glories of the past when we were the most dominant without any rivals in the world, and now having to adapt to a reduced economy — are we going to be able to have commensurate cuts?" he asked.
Krauthammer said he sees little hope when he sees resistance from liberals and Democrats to making those cuts.
"In the end, you can have a bankruptcy for a city, but not for a country."
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