Heritage, The Wall Street Journal Bemoan Rapid Decline In U.S. Economic Freedom Under Obama
January 15, 2014 by Sam Rolley
Following seven straight years of dwindling economic freedom in the United States, the Nation no longer ranks among the top 10 economically free countries in the Index of Economic Freedom compiled by The Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal.
The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom released by the organizations on Tuesday illustrates declining economic freedom for the United States that has been exacerbated since President Barack Obama took office— from the sixth most economically free country in the world when he took office to the 12th today. Meanwhile, according to the report, overall world economic freedom has steadily risen.
From the Index:
Over the 20-year history of the Index, the U.S.’s economic freedom has fluctuated significantly. During the first 10 years, its score rose gradually, and it joined the ranks of the economically “free” in 2006. Since then, it has suffered a dramatic decline of almost 6 points, with particularly large losses in property rights, freedom from corruption, and control of government spending. The U.S. is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.
The Economic Freedom Index measures things like size of government, tax rates, property rights and fiscal soundness to rank countries throughout the world. The main reason given for the United States’ declining economic freedom in the Index is runaway government spending — followed by tax hikes and a wave of new regulation.
The report also notes that the President’s healthcare law “appears to be significantly hurting job creation and full-time employment.”
The U.S. is joined in its declining economic freedom by the U.K., another nation with an economic system that once embraced free enterprise.
“The U.S. and the U.K, historically champions of free enterprise, have suffered the most pronounced declines. Both countries now fall in the ‘mostly free’ category,” pointed out Terry Miller, director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation.
As the U.S. economy suffers the consequences of freedom-robbing economic policy, 114 countries examined by the index increased economic freedoms for citizens over the past year.
“Hong Kong continues to dominate the list, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. These are the only countries to earn the index’s ‘economically free’ designation. Mauritius earned top honors among African countries and Chile excelled in Latin America,” according to Miller.
Here’s the Index’s complete ranking of economic freedom:
“The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom rankings should act as a wake-up call to U.S. policymakers and citizens alike. Freedom leads to prosperity, and our founders put us on that path of freedom. As we fight for just government, we must also fight for a government that lives within its means and does not spend the next generation’s money,” Derrick Morgan, Heritage’s vice president for domestic and economic policy, said of the U.S.’s falling rank on the list.