Heritage’s Terry Miller reports some good news in the Wall Street Journal (subscribers only):

A steep, seven-year decline in U.S. economic freedom has come to an end, according to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, published Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. score in the index experienced a particularly large drop in 2009-10, pushing this country out of the “free” category and into the “mostly free” category. A slight 0.7-point uptick this year has allowed the U.S. to retain its 12th-place ranking. 

The index measures commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating policies related to the rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and market openness. Restraint in the growth of government spending drove the modest improvement in the U.S. score. 

Since changes in index scores are highly correlated with economic growth rates, the modest rebound for the U.S. raises hopes that the economy can regain some of the momentum lost through the excessive spending, taxes and regulations of the Obama era. The 2010 elections, which returned control of the House of Representatives to Republicans, brought some restraint in government excess, a fact reflected in the U.S. economic freedom trend and the recent uptick in U.S. economic activity. The 2014 election promises even greater restraint in the growth of government spending and regulation.

Get more info directly from the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. The United States ranked 12th in the world, or “mostly free,” trailing countries like New Zealand, Chile, Ireland and Mauritius. Hong Kong once again ranked the world’s freest economy.

How do you think the United States can improve its ranking in the Index?

The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be at The Heritage Foundation tomorrow to help launch the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom.

America was ranked 12th in last year’s Index, behind countries like Chile, Denmark, and Estonia. Ryan’s speech will focus on how America can improve its rank in the Index and reclaim global leadership in economic freedom.

This will be the 21st edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, which has been produced in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal since 1995. The Index evaluates economic conditions and government policies in 186 countries and ranks them from most free to least free. Since its inception, the Index has tracked the progress of economic freedom around the globe and measured the impact of advancing economic liberty.

If you can’t attend in person at Heritage, be sure to tune in online to watch Rep. Ryan (R-WI) announce the release of the 2015 Index.

Heritage Foundation Korea expert Bruce Klingner was in Seoul, South Korea recently. There, Klingner was introduced to a North Korean defector who was a former diplomat. Upon realizing Klingner was from Heritage, the defector smiled and said that The Heritage Foundation is very famous in North Korea:

Heritage papers are read, including by the senior leadership, to get one important view of the world. The papers are widely read, especially those on Korea.

He also had a warning for America: he said North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs are more advanced than we realize.

As Klingner has said before, “North Korea poses a growing national security threat to our nation and its allies. Pyongyang continues to augment and refine its nuclear and missile arsenals.” And without a firm response from the Obama administration, subsequent threats will arise.

Do you think the Obama administration should strengthen its response to North Korea?

Thousands gather to march for life in Washington, Jan. 22, 2015. Photo: Alyson Fligg/Sipa USA

Hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered in Washington today for the March for Life. Heritage’s Sarah Torre explains what the event is really about:

Today is primarily a time for somber remembrance. A time to reflect on the enormous cost of abortion by remembering the more than 56 million children who have lost their lives since that fateful day in 1973 and the countless women who still suffer from abortion’s physical and emotional tolls.

But the March is also a time for celebration. Because of the hope it presents and the truth it professes, the pro-life movement–against legal, political and cultural odds–has been able to reorient the hearts and minds of an entire generation.

Congress was supposed to vote today on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would better protect unborn children. But the GOP leadership canceled the vote after some lawmakers argued the bill was harmful to women’s rights. This is a strange claim to make, as a majority of American women (and all Americans) support this bill’s passage. Daily Signal’s Katrina Trinko reports: Continue Reading »

The Heritage Foundation’s conservative policy reports were read online more than one million times last year. That’s millions of Americans — policymakers and citizens alike — who are more educated on the conservative principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Here are the top 20 most popular reports from 2014: Continue Reading »

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