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A Land Less Free?
1 year ago

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/11/a-land-less-free/

 

 
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The United States is no longer a beacon of freedom to the world. Countries  once looked to America for inspiration on how to escape poverty and embrace  prosperity, but now they can find better examples to follow. The Heritage  Foundation on Thursday noted our fifth consecutive decline in its annual  Index of Economic Freedom. It’s a sad day when countries such as Chile  and Mauritius can outdo the red-white-and-blue  when it comes to opportunity.

U.S. economic policy has broken faith with the Founding Fathers, who preached  the value of property rights, sound money and the rule of law. Our government  has traded the frugality of Benjamin Franklin for a habit of spending $1  trillion more than it takes in each year.

 

Profligate lawmakers use public funds  to bail out Wall Street banks and Detroit labor unions. Our currency has become  so debased that economist Paul Krugman on  Tuesday wrote it would be “economically harmless” for the government to mint a  $1 trillion coin as a way to avoid spending cuts.

 

The New Year’s “fiscal cliff” deal was  chock-full of crony handouts and economic rent-seeking. The nation is $16.4  trillion in debt, yet Congress and the president  approved spending $57 billion more in 2013 and a total of $330 billion in  additional outlays over the rest of the decade, by the Congressional  Budget Office’s reckoning. The deal raises taxes by $620 billion on  Americans who are about to see nationalized health insurance imposed, forcing  companies to underwrite the cost of abortions against their moral principles.  This is not what America stands for.

 

Instead, we’re being outperformed by the economic growth of our neighbor to  the north, Canada, where Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper has  held public spending in check while cutting the corporate tax rate to 15  percent. At the top of the Heritage list is  Hong Kong, which prospers despite the increasing control exerted from Beijing.  Hong Kong’s low-tax, low-regulation philosophy has delivered solid economic  growth, 3.4 percent unemployment and a commendably low public debt ratio of 34  percent (com



 



This post was modified from its original form on 12 Jan, 9:46
1 year ago

Hong Kong’s low-tax, low-regulation philosophy has delivered solid economic  growth, 3.4 percent unemployment and a commendably low public debt ratio of 34  percent (compared with the U.S. figure of 104 percent).

These countries succeed because they live up to the fundamental principles  that made America great. President Obama is moving us even further in the wrong  direction with his intention to use executive orders to bypass the legislative  process and enact an unpopular agenda. History suggests he will take advantage  of the upcoming debt-ceiling deal to boost government spending to new  heights.

 

We’re already on an unsustainable path, as the accountants at the nonpartisan  Government Accountability Office have been warning. There is no way for America  to maintain her position in the world while the public sector swallows more and  more resources from the private sector. Instead of following countries such as  Greece and France in spending our way toward financial ruin, it’s time to  re-embrace the limited-government, free-market philosophy that works.

 

The Washington Times

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