Once again, New Jersey finds itself ranked near the bottom of a list measuring the state’s fiscal and regulatory climate. A new report issued today by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a renowned libertarian think tank, places the Garden State third-to-last on a comprehensive index of economic freedom. Only California and neighboring New York spare New Jersey from last place.
“None of this will come as a shock to long-suffering New Jersey taxpayers, yet it’s still another stark reminder of how unbridled big government destroys prosperity and undermines our quality of life,” said Mike Proto, AFP Foundation-New Jersey’s communications director.
The Mercatus report, entitled “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom”, assesses both economic and personal freedom using data dating back to 2011. The economic freedom index focuses on fiscal and regulatory measures. Twelve different weighted components are included, with the state’s overall tax burden representing more than 28% of the equation. Other major components include government spending and debt, real property rights, health insurance and labor market.
“Perhaps the most stunning news in this report is how quickly and precipitously the state has sunk in the span of just ten years,” said Proto. “New Jersey has been in an economic death spiral for a decade. New Jerseyans are now feeling the pain inflicted by a bloated, out-of control state government. The prospects for economic growth are being crippled by stifling regulations, a heavy tax burden and ever-growing debt.”
According to the report, New Jersey has dropped 37 points on the economic freedom scale since 2001 and also scores a staggering 78.8 points below average (versus 32.9 points below average in 2001).
“Big government is choking people’s spirit of entrepreneurship in this state and making it less and less possible for people to realize the American Dream here. The time is long overdue for New Jersey to eschew the failed big government philosophy and return the principles of freedom and free enterprise we know pave the way to prosperity,” Proto concluded.
Mercatus Center Report: “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom”
Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFPF believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFPF educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFPF is more than 1.9 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFPF has 34 state chapters and affiliates. More than 90, 000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.americansforprosperityfoundation.com/