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A land less free

(Washington Times) — The United States is no longer a beacon of freedom to the world. Countries once looked to America for inspiration on how to escape poverty and embrace prosperity, but now they can find better examples to follow. The Heritage Foundation on Thursday noted our fifth consecutive decline in its annual Index of Economic Freedom. It’s a sad day when countries such as Chile and Mauritius can outdo the red-white-and-blue when it comes to opportunity.

U.S. economic policy has broken faith with the Founding Fathers, who preached the value of property rights, sound money and the rule of law. Our government has traded the frugality of Benjamin Franklin for a habit of spending $1 trillion more than it takes in each year. Profligate lawmakers use public funds to bail out Wall Street banks and Detroit labor unions. Our currency has become so debased that economist Paul Krugman on Tuesday wrote it would be “economically harmless” for the government to mint a $1 trillion coin as a way to avoid spending cuts.