Michael Schaus

America. Home of the brave, and land of the “mostly” free. At least that’s the takeaway from the recent Index of Economic Freedom. For twenty years the Heritage Foundation has ranked the economic freedom of nations across the globe, and America has been slipping from the top. While much of the rest of the world has dedicated itself to ensuring greater economic liberty, America has apparently been dedicated to shackling herself with an increasingly complicated web of regulations, taxes, and government interference.

According to the Index of Economic Freedom, the land of the “mostly” free now ranks number twelve in the world. Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and even socialist Canada have more financial freedom in their markets than the good old United States. Heck, even Estonia out ranked Obama’s America. And, yes… Obama is relevant to this conversation.

While number 12 is not bad out of a list of 178 (North Korea unsurprisingly came in dead last), it’s the trajectory of America’s ranking that is worrisome. For seven straight years, America has declined in rankings; and it’s not too difficult to see why. (Strangely, this seven year decline coincides roughly with Democrats gaining control of the US Senate. But that’s probably just coincidence. Right?)

The Index is put together using a variety of metrics to judge overall economic freedom. Among these metrics are considerations such as government debt, taxes, amount of government regulations, and property rights. On all of these points America’s adoption of Obamanomics has exacerbated the problem. Even if taxes were increased to 43 percent (did you just hear Grover Norquist have a heart attack?), the government would be unable to rake in enough revenue to finance our current spending habits. Let’s face it: America’s government spends money like a drunken sailor… with someone else’s credit card.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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