1. Heritage Foundation US Economic Freedom Index Explained

2. Economic Freedom Index Plunged Under President Obama

3. The US Economy is Quietly Gaining Momentum – That’s Good

4. How Upcoming Tax Reform Proposals Could Affect Americans

5. Summary of Major Tax Reform Proposals Under Consideration

Overview

We touch on several bases today. We begin with the Heritage Foundation’s annual Economic Freedom Index, which plunged during the eight years of the Obama presidency. From there, we look at some recent economic data which is quite encouraging overall.

Following that, we take a look at some of the major tax reform proposals under consideration, both those proposed by Congress and those espoused by President Donald Trump. It should make for an interesting E-Letter. Let’s get started.

Heritage Foundation US Economic Freedom Index Explained

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think-tank based in Washington, DC, founded in 1973. Since 1995, Heritage has published an annual ranking of developed nations based on their level of economic freedom – or put differently, the ease of doing business in these countries.

The Economic Freedom Index is based on such variables as the rule of law doctrine, property rights, fiscal health, business freedom, tax burdens, government spending and other indicators of economic freedom in 186 countries. Based on these criteria, each country gets an overall freedom index score, which then can be ranked against other countries.

As Heritage points out, there is good reason to focus on these measures of economic freedom, since they directly correlate with a country's growth and prosperity. The latest report notes, “The affirmative link between economic freedom and long-term development is unmistakable and robust. The higher a country's level of economic freedom is, the higher its income per capita also is."

The good news is that economic freedom worldwide has been inching up for the past two decades. It went from a low of 57.1 in 1996 to 60.9 today, as of the latest report. But the US has been falling in the rankings since the late 1990s and precipitously in the last eight years.

That’s what we’ll talk about below.