America’s Economic Freedom Has Rapidly Declined Under Obama
by Anthony B. Kim
Millions of people around the world are emerging from poverty thanks torising economic freedom. But by sharp contrast, America’s economic freedomhas been on a declining path over the past decade.
America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts.
According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, an annual publication by The Heritage Foundation, America’s economic freedom has tumbled. With losses of economic freedom in eight of the past nine years, the U.S. has tied its worst score ever, wiping out a decade of progress.
>>> Read the full 2016 Index of Economic Freedom
The U.S. has fallen from the 6th freest economy in the world, when President Barack Obama took office, to 11th place in 2016. America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts.
Since early 2009:
- Government spending has exploded, amounting to $29,867 per household in 2015.
- The national debt has risen to $125,000 for every tax-filing household in America—a total over $18 trillion.
- The government takeover of health care is raising prices and disrupting markets.
- Bailouts and new government regulations have increased uncertainty, stifling investment and job creation.
This is not something to take lightly. Economic freedom is the foundation of U.S. economic strength, and economic strength is the foundation of America’s high living standards, military power, and status as a world leader. The perils of losing economic freedom are not fictional.
It is painfully clear that our economy has been performing far below its potential, with individuals, families, and entrepreneurs being squeezed by the proliferation of big-government bureaucracy and regulations.
As documented by the index, and by other scholars, America’s economic freedom has been declining at an alarming pace.
Indeed, as The Wall Street Journal recently summed it up succinctly, Obama is “a champion when it comes to limiting economic freedom, and American workers have the slow growth in jobs and wages to prove it.”
Not surprisingly, our economic dynamism and innovative capacity have been measurably reduced.