There is at the moment, not much difference in the policy makers of the US of today (or the last 30 years) and the crooks in Russia. Both are heavily involved in business and will do anything to advance that business even at the cost of the country and the population. There is no such thing as a "wise" US politician as it stands now.. you either have the utterly corrupt (both sides) or the insane (both sides). The few real politicians that there are have been marginalised by partisan bickering and corruption. The very fact that legislation that was suppose to protect the consumer was written by corporate America to protect themselves shows a de-stain for the average American by the politicians they elect. The Bush prescription drug law he signed as his first law is a classic example of corporate America being ahead of the average American. The list goes on of pro-Business anti-consumer legislation and all are connected to massive amounts of money funnelled legally into the campaign trough´s of your politicians.In contrast, if U.S. policy makers choose wisely, the U.S. still has enormous latitude to avoid the kind of crisis that unfolded in Russia. But will the U.S. choose wisely remains to be seen. Risks of a less than prudent course likely have increased on account of the recent political dysfunctionality exhibited during the debt ceiling debate. That a modest deficit reduction agreement was sealed to avoid a self-inflicted crisis does not mean that U.S. political risk has diminished.
So.. as long as the US has the system it has now.. then Putin's words, while based on a highly biased and personal view for him, is actually quite true on so many fronts and that scares the **** out of me and many people around the world. I had hoped the Tea Party could change this, but with all the crazies and even more crazies in the so called party and their actual actions once elected, then the Tea Party is nothing but a teenage version of the GOP... they are just as corrupt as everyone else. I read or heard somewhere (cant for the life of me remember where) that the Tea Party members had gobbled up 48 billion in government funding for their districts and much of that in out right pork... so much for change there.