Paul Ryan Calls for an End to Big Government Cronyism in Heritage Speech

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In Heritage Impact

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks about Heritage's Index of Economic Freedom .

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks about Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom . Photo: Katie Nielsen

Big government policies like regulations on commerce and cronyism are to blame for the United States’ 12th-place ranking in Heritage’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said today at The Heritage Foundation.

In a speech to help launch the Index, Ryan added that that Heritage has been instrumental in making the case against cronyism. Cronyism, which involves special interests using the power of government for their own benefit, is extraordinarily damaging to free economies.

“Opportunity for all and favoritism to none should be our creed at home and abroad,” Ryan said. “Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None” is the name of a 192-page Heritage report detailing a policy agenda for the new Congress.

What do you think are the real saboteurs of a free economy?

America’s Economy Is Slightly Freer This Year–But Still Just 12th Freest in the World

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In Heritage Work

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?

Paul Ryan Will Launch Heritage’s 21st Index of Economic Freedom Tomorrow

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In Heritage Impact & Heritage Work

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.

Viewed One Million Times Last Year, Heritage Reports Spread the Conservative Argument

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In Heritage Work

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 »

How Heritage Fights Against Cronyism and for Free Enterprise

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In Heritage Impact

Welcome to the world of cronyism—the costly, unseemly system that allows politicians and lobbyists to break the trust of the American people without breaking a single law. Favors are traded, the system is gamed and hard-working U.S. taxpayers are left to foot the bill.

Heritage is working on your behalf to highlight this insidious link and give you and your fellow taxpayers a voice against cronyism. Continue Reading »

Video: Jim Talent Explains China’s Threat to America

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In Heritage Impact

In remarks at The Heritage Foundation Monday, former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) explained the military threats posed by China and how the United States can respond to this aggression.

His remarks were part of the annual B.C. Lee Lecture, an annual event focusing on U.S.-Asia relations. The lecture is named in honor of the late B.C. Lee, the founder of Samsung and a generous sponsor of the Heritage Foundation.

Previous B.C. Lee lectures have been delivered by Henry Kissinger, Jesse Helms, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Lieberman, Ed Royce and many others.

How Heritage Turns Your Conservative Policy Ideas into Reality

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In Heritage Work

A core mission of The Heritage Foundation is to generate ideas for policies based on your conservative principles. But ideas don’t change the world on their own.

If we want to make this country free, safe, and prosperous, then we need to make conservative ideas part of everyday life, Heritage experts Jen Marshall, Derrick Morgan, and Jim Carafano said last week at Heritage’s President’s Club Meeting.

The process of making your principles a reality involves three steps: Continue Reading »

Why Liberals Who Believe in a ‘Living’ Constitution are Wrong

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In Heritage Impact

Federal judges have become collaborators with a liberal agenda that undermines the Constitution and tramples the rights of Americans, a panel of experts said at The Heritage Foundation this week.

Liberals often argue for a “living Constitution” whose meaning evolves with time. But this view undermines key limitations on government power that are written into the Constitution itself, said Clark Niely III, an attorney at the Institute for Justice:

We don’t have a living constitution, we have a dying constitution. The 10th amendment – on life support. The idea of federalism and enumerated federal powers – almost meaningless because the Supreme Court won’t enforce it. The contract clause – dead. The privileges or immunities clause of the 14th amendment – dead. The 5th amendment’s public use provision – dead.

As Heritage scholar and former Attorney General Ed Meese has said, “the only living Constitution is one that’s followed.”

Do you agree with Niely and Meese? Should the text of the Constitution be followed as written, or is its meaning open to reinterpretation? Watch the whole video above and tell us what you think in the comments.

We Need Less Government in the Housing Market, Not More

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In Heritage Work

The federal government should be less involved in the housing market moving forward, Heritage Foundation experts Norbert Michel and John Ligon argue in a new report on housing finance and free enterprise.  The authors go on to explain,

Free markets promote affordable housing, but the federal government has increasingly intervened in housing finance for decades. Housing finance reform will be successful only if policymakers recognize the flaws of previous interventionist policies and embrace the basic principles inherent in a free market.

They argue for a housing policy “that promotes individual economic freedom and affordable homeownership,” and lay out five policies to achieve that goal: Continue Reading »

Here’s the One Thing That Will Lower Gas Prices, Create Jobs, and Boost the Economy

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In Heritage Work

Heritage Foundation expert Nicolas Loris explains how opening energy markets “would create more opportunities for Americans, promote economic prosperity at home and abroad, and improve political situations around the world.”

He specifically looks at natural resources including coal, natural gas, and oil.

He says:

Expanding market opportunities for energy exports will not just benefit energy companies. By opening the door to establishing more efficient global oil markets, all Americans will reap the benefits of lower prices, more jobs, and a stronger economy. Freely trading energy will not only increase prosperity around the world, but also bolster U.S. national security by diversifying supplies in the global market.

He suggests three policy solutions:

  1. Lift natural gas export barriers.
  2. Remove the crude oil export ban. 
  3. Prevent threats to coal exports

Read the Backgrounder and tell us: Do you think a free-market energy policy will benefit the United States economy?

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