Heritage Releases 2012 Index of Economic Freedom: The US Ranking Drops!

The US Economic Freedom Ranking Drops to #10 in the 2012 Index

The US economy, whose ranking has declined for the past five years, has slipped to #10 in the most recent annual Index of Economic Freedom rankings. The Index is joint project of Heritage and the Wall Street Journal.  Since 1995, the Index has brought Adam Smith's theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 184 countries around the world.

It should come as no surprise that Obama's policies and tactics are eroding our freedom.  Our economy is now considered "mostly free" after four years of decline during the Obama presidency. The reasons for the decline in freedom are a huge national debt, runaway government spending, and increased corruption over the past year. Watch the video explaining the significance of the Index and the role of economic freedom by clicking on the image below.

President Obama Circumvents Congress

It's imperative to educate Americans on this administration's progressive assault on the constitution.  If Obama doesn't achieve his goals legislatively he goes around Congress and enacts his policy objectives through rules, regulations, and unconstitutional political appointments.  Heritage's Investigative Reporter Lachlan Markay generated a list of some of the most egregious abuses of power:

  • The Democrat-controlled Senate rejected his cap-and-trade plan, so Obama's Environmental Protection Agency classified carbon dioxide, the compound that sustains vegetative life, as a pollutant so that it could regulate it under the Clean Air Act.
  • After Congress defeated his stealth-amnesty immigration proposal, the DREAM Act, the Department of Homeland Security instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to "adopt enforcement parameters that bring about the same ends as the DREAM Act," as Heritage's Mike Brownfield explained.
  • When the woefully misnamed Employee Free Choice Act--explicitly designed to bolster labor unions' dwindling membership rolls--was defeated by Congress, the NLRB announced a rule that would implement "snap elections" for union representation, limiting employers' abilities to make their case to workers and virtually guaranteeing a higher rate of unionization at the expense of workplace democracy.
  • After an innovation-killing Internet regulation proposal failed to make it through Congress, the Federal Communications Commission announced -- on Christmas Eve, no less -- that it would regulate the Web anyway, despite even a federal court's ruling that it had no authority to do so.
  • In its push for national education standards, the Education Department decided to tie waivers for the No Child Left Behind law to requirements that states adopt those standards, shutting Congress out of the effort. 
  • Rather than push Congress to repeal federal laws against marijuana use, the Department of Justice (DOJ) simply decided it would no longer enforce those laws.
  • DOJ made a similar move with respect to the Defense of Marriage Act: rather than seeking legislative recourse, DOJ announced it would stop enforcing the law.

What next?  Today the Department of Justice released a 23 page memo justifying Obama's "recess" appointments. As our own Todd Gaziano explains in a blog post, Obama's Whitewash on Illegal Appointments Won't Work.