Overregulation Keeps U.S. From Rising in Economic Freedom Rankings

Jan 11, 2013

Aberdeen harbor in Hong Kong. Hong Kong remained the most-free economy according to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom produced by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg.

The United States saw its economic freedom score decline last year, yet was able to maintain its position as the world’s 10th freest economy, according to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom produced by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

The burdensome regulatory system is the main culprit for the falling score. “[O]ver 100 new major federal regulations have been imposed on business operations since early 2009 with annual costs of more than $46 billion,” states the report. With a host of proposed regulations in the pipeline for 2013, I won’t be surprised if this drags down our score next year.

Government spending and fiscal freedom also contributed. The report notes that the United States continues to have a 35% corporate tax rates—highest in the world—and the federal government continues running budget deficits over $1 trillion annually.

Read more about United States Economy. See more from the 2013 Index.

Globally, economic freedom barely budged with the world average score rising only one-tenth of a point in 2012. The top five most-free economies didn’t change from 2012:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Switzerland

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