U.S. falls from top 10 on Index of Economic Freedom
What’s making it harder for Illinois parents to save for a child’s college education, and for working moms to take that next step in their careers? What’s driven a record 91.8 million Americans to give up and no longer look for work? Reduced economic freedom. Economic freedom has powerful effects. It not only drives job...
What’s making it harder for Illinois parents to save for a child’s college education, and for working moms to take that next step in their careers? What’s driven a record 91.8 million Americans to give up and no longer look for work?
Reduced economic freedom.
Economic freedom has powerful effects. It not only drives job growth and prosperity, but also social progress. And for the first time in the history of the Index of Economic Freedom, the U.S. has fallen from the top 10.
source: The Heritage Foundation
It is ironic that as world economic freedom jumped to all-time highs according to the 2014 Index, the world’s leader fell to 12th place, well behind neighboring Canada and one spot behind the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia. The U.S. fell due to high tax rates, runaway debt and spending, and excessive regulation.
This does not bode well for Illinois, which at sixth-worst ranks near the bottom of the pile in freedom amongst the 50 U.S. states. Illinois is ninth-worst in terms of regulation and sixth-worst for tort liabilities. Lack of freedom fuels the state’s jobs crisis. Illinois is not providing jobs and paychecks for its 1 million unemployed and underemployed, and is expected to be dead last in jobs growth this year.
Yet the state government hasn’t taken the lesson that taxes and restrictions are not the way to boost paychecks and put our citizens to work. To point, the Tax Foundation released a study showing that Springfield’s latest tax scheme would crush Illinois’ businesses. The study projects that Illinois’ business tax environment would fall from 31st to 44th if a progressive tax hike is enacted. Illinois continues to make it difficult to start businesses and create jobs, driving entrepreneurs to look elsewhere.
In a last act of desperation, Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois politicians resort to essentially bribing big-name companies to locate within state borders in exchange for a limited tax liability. Thus, failed policy begets cronyism, which further convinces entrepreneurs and innovators to look elsewhere for a fair and level playing field.
It is time for Illinois to embrace prosperity and opportunity rather than cronyism and taxation. The way to start is to cut the red tape that hampers entrepreneurship while creating a level playing field of fair and low taxation.