- The Washington Times - Monday, February 14, 2022

The conservative Heritage Foundation says economic freedom is at an all-time low under President Biden.

The Washington-based think tank said the U.S. fell 2.7 points from its 2021 Index of Economic Freedom to a record-low score of 72.1 and to its lowest ranking globally, from 20th last year to 25th, in 2022 as the U.S. struggles with rising inflation and debt.

“This year’s Index of Economic Freedom paints a disturbing picture, both at home and abroad,” Heritage President Kevin Roberts said in a statement reported by Fox News. “The decline of American economic freedom is serious cause for alarm and has real and tangible consequences for all Americans, especially low-income families and the working class.”  

The index launched in 1995 grades countries based on government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets. It also gauges the rule of law as it pertains to property rights, government integrity and judicial effectiveness.

Singapore, Switzerland and Ireland hold the top three spots in the 2022 ranking, while the U.S., at 25th, is right behind the United Kingdom and just ahead of Georgia.

Mr. Roberts drew a straight line between Mr. Biden’s response to the pandemic and supply chain crises and 40-year high inflation, an 11-year low in consumer confidence and a national debt that has surpassed $30 trillion.

“The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people have been deeply disrupted, not just by the virus, but especially by draconian lockdowns, intrusive public health mandates and restrictions on commerce and trade,” he said. “Trillions of dollars in new federal spending have further weakened our economy and caused a historic spike in inflation.”

North Korea ranked at the bottom of the index, at 177th, right below Cuba and Venezuela.

Communist China is also in the “repressed” category near the bottom, at 158th.

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• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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