By Joseph Jankowski
Land of the free they say…
After eight years of the regulation-happy Obama administration, the United States has undergone a huge slide into the 17th most economically free country in the world, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom.
Under president Obama, the federal government issued over 600 major regulations, costing the U.S. economy hundreds of millions of dollars. Those regulations were placed on top of the 426 regulations introduced under eight years of George W. Bush.
Although Obama left the Oval Office confident in his legacy as a positive attribute to the U.S. economy, the proof which lies in the pudding couldn’t be anymore contradicting.
For the 9th time in past ten years, the United States has become less economically free.
According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 index, the U.S. ranks 17th out of 180 rated economies, trailing behind economies such as Switzerland (4th), Australia (5th), Chile (10th), and the United Kingdom (12th).
The “land of the free” was placed into the “mostly free” category, the second-tier economic freedom status into which it dropped in 2010.
In 2016, the U.S. ranked 11th in economic freedom.
For over two decades the index has measured a nation’s commitment to limited government and free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating four critical policy pillars, including rule of law and regulatory efficiency.
Anthony Kim of the Daily Signal writes of the Unites States’ new historic low in the index:
A substantial expansion in the size and scope of government under the Obama administration—including through new and costly regulations in areas like finance, health care, and the environment—has hit wide swaths of the economy, affecting almost every American in some way and reducing opportunities for nongovernmental production and investment.
The growth of government has been accompanied by increasing cronyism that has undermined the rule of law and perceptions of fairness.
Our nation’s fiscal health has been grossly dented as well. The national debt has nearly doubled since 2009, growing from $10.6 trillion to around $20 trillion. In dollar terms, this is the largest increase in the national debt in U.S. history.
In practice, all of these negative developments that undercut America’s economic freedom have amounted to a gradual slide toward a more heavily bureaucratic state and an increasingly politicized economy over the past eight years.
Today, the imperative to restore America’s economic freedom and thereby revitalize vibrant entrepreneurial growth is stronger than ever. Americans deserve better, and they can do better.
It should also be mentioned that the federal government just collected a record number of taxes in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.
As PFW News reported at the start of the week:
According to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Monday, the U.S. Treasury collected a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017).
In constant 2016 dollars, that is up $5,616,000,000 compared to the amount of taxes collected in the first four months of fiscal 2016.
The amount of taxes collected so far this fiscal year is equaled to about $7,133 per worker.
It is clear that the U.S. is an entirely over taxed and over regulated country. It is being suffocated by an enormous government which has become a black hole of debt and must take more and more from its population in order to keep the bubble full of air.
Other freedom indexes have also shown that the U.S. is falling in more than just economic liberty.
In 2016, the Human Freedom Index by the CATO and Fraser Institutes, which measures nations based on their level of personal, civil, and economic freedom, ranked the U.S. 23rd out of 159 countries.
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