My answer is similar to the previous one. In the sentences as you have them, you are not talking about a general tendency - 'could' is possible. If you add 'when it gets like this' to your second sentence, 'can' becomes possible.The economy in the US is in a very bad state. It can/may get out of hand.
Could I use 'can' If I wanted to express that the US economy has the ability or general potential/quality of getting out of hand instead of stating there is a possibility that it will get out of hand.
Sorry, I have been called away to an emergency.Where do you draw the line between ability and the likelihood of something happening or being true?
Student or Learner