Eurozone and Greece: A global economic crisis?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, GUEST HOST: The intensifying European financial crisis is sending tremors through Wall Street and Washington. Of the 17 countries that use the euro, seven are in recession, the worst right now being Greece.

With what looks like an imminent withdrawal from the euro, real fear is escalating that the riots and the violence we've been witnessing in Greece could soon become a reality here in the U.S.

Sean recently sat down with Ian Bremer. He is the author of "Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World." They discussed the European financial downfall and how it could affect our economy.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining us now, Ian Bremer, "Every Nation for Itself." How are you? Good to see you.

All right, look, if you listen to Obama and his re-election campaign, this is what they are saying, the economy is in recovery. We are still losing 400,000 jobs a month. People that are chronically unemployed are no longer counter, over $5 trillion in new Obama debt.

He hasn't dealt with entitlements. He's given us a new entitlement. How do they make a claim, we supposed to have a recovery summer of 2010. Now, he is trying to convince everybody, it's all better. I don't see it. Tell me where are the signs and evidence?

IAN BREMMER, "EVERY NATION FOR ITSELF": Look, what we certainly know is that whether or not you want to argue the U.S. is in decline, we are not going to bail out the Europeans. We know whether or not the U.S. is in decline, we're not going to remove Assad from power in Syria. We're not going to lead a new climate deal, we're not going to bomb Iran.

HANNITY: A reset, you say, is underway in the Arab world. I agree with that. But the reset isn't good for America when have you the Muslim Brotherhood and extremists, and Sharia law about to be implemented in Egypt. Now they say their number one enemy is Israel. So that's going to impact the United States at some point.

BREMMER: You know what I call the G-0, not G-7 or G-20, but a lack of global leadership. If you look at the Middle East, the impact of the G-0 in the Middle East since the Arab springs hit, you look across the entirety of the Middle East now.

The only country that I can find that's on a definably positive trajectory is Tunisia. That's great for Tunisia, t's a small country. Every other place you look at is leading towards more fragmentation, it's more sectarian because if the United States isn't going to do it, who is?

HANNITY: You even point out in the book that the United States is the only one that can do it at least in the short term.

BREMMER: That's true.

HANNITY: Under Obama I would argue that how he didn't see the Muslim Brotherhood coming into power, Sharia law being implemented, because I saw it, and I called it and somebody wrote I was Muslim Brotherhood obsessed.

That's only one part of the world. Then you got Greece about to collapse, in a collapse, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, right? All of these countries are in trouble and the euro is about to collapse. How does that impact America's economy?

BREMMER: I don't believe the euro is going to collapse, but I certainly believe it's going to take a very long time to get the Europeans through this.

HANNITY: The EU you don't think will disband?

BREMMER: I don't.

HANNITY: I disagree.

BREMMER: I think that there's not going to be policies of competitiveness in this part of the world, which means that growth will be slow, absent U.S. involvement, absent Chinese support, the recession will be deeper and the recovery will take a longer time.

HANNITY: It could impact us across the pond.

BREMMER: It clearly does. Over the last year, markets in the United States have taken a hit and the U.S. economic recovery has been slower because of concerns about what's happening in Europe.

HANNITY: You know, Barack Obama said about George W. Bush, he was unpatriotic and irresponsible after 8 years in $4 trillion in debt. This president in three and a half years has accumulated $5 trillion plus in debt.

He's put us on a path for trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Not dealing with entitlements, wants to spend more money, won't allow drilling, which would create a lot of jobs almost immediately, and give us the added benefit of better national security.

BREMMER: Sean, here's the danger, is that the United States, as you know, is a wealthy country with a lot of resilience. The United States is not Greece. The United States is not Spain. We are not being pressured. We are not against the wall the way the Greeks are and as a consequence of that, we are kicking the can down the road, we're not investing in our future.

HANNITY: Here's what I think you miss. I think this election is going to be key. We are either going to continue down the road towards this failed European model of cradle-to-grave, womb-to-the-tomb guarantees that you cannot sustain, or America's going to reverse course.

If we don't reverse course, I don't see the bond markets sticking with us because they see the debt as unsustainable. It gets to a point, a critical tipping point where you can't pay it back.

BREMMER: I'm going to tell you where I disagree slightly. I actually think that we have more time, more rope to hang ourselves with than you do --


BREMMER: Well, in -- look, if you are facing an angry bear, you don't need to outrun the bear. You need to outrun that guy.

HANNITY: You need to shoot the bear.

BREMMER: You need to be faster than the other guys running away.

HANNITY: Assuming somebody's with you.

BREMMER: I am assuming that the bond markets are not reacting to what America looked like 20 years ago, but they are thinking, are we going U.S.? Are we going euro? Are we going Japan? Are we going China? You got to put your money somewhere.

HANNITY: Paul Ryan says that if we don't reverse course, we have tw to three years and the bond markets begin to say, this money, we are throwing good money after bad.

BREMMER: I think that --

HANNITY: You disagree with Paul Ryan.

BREMMER: I disagree. I think we are in an environment where the level of resilience of the Chinese government is lower than ours. It's clear --


BREMMER: If you are right and the eurozone is going to collapse, the United States, absolutely gets more time because who else are the Chinese -- where are they going to put their money?

HANNITY: We get more time, but we get impacted in the --

BREMMER: Yes, we do. The longer term is --


BREMMER: -- what I am saying is that this election, Americans are upset about Congress, they are upset about gridlock and Obama and Washington. That's not a surprise because no one's doing the long-term decision-making --


HANNITY: The president's making the same mistakes that Western Europe has made. This is the same reason -- look, to have five, six countries in such economic trouble, doesn't that tell you not to go down the road of the welfare state? Doesn't that tell you that health care is not affordable if run by the government? Doesn't that tell you we have save ourselves a lot of pain?

BREMMER: Sean, it's very clear that the debt situation in the United States over the long term is unsustainable. I am not going to sit here and argue any differently --

HANNITY: So the welfare state fails.

BREMMER: There is a question of when unsustainability bites you in the bottom. What I'm suggesting is it is not near term.

HANNITY: The $16 trillion, how much -- at what point what trillion-dollar mark debt wise, do you say, we near trouble.

BREMMER: If it were that simple, you just need the economists. The rest of the world matters.

HANNITY: (INAUDIBLE), who did your --

BREMMER: A buddy of mine.

HANNITY: I've interviewed him.

BREMMER: He's more concerned about just the economic side --

HANNITY: I think he is more in my camp.

BREMMER: On the economic side --

HANNITY: Absolutely, yes.

BREMMER: But on the political camp --

HANNITY: That means we are right and you are wrong.

BREMMER: It doesn't mean that, Sean.

HANNITY: Congrats on a good book.

BREMMER: Thank you very much.

HANNITY: Appreciate you being with us.

BREMMER: Cheers.


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