|Happy 4th of July!|
|Written by Senator Johnny Nugent|
|Sunday, 07 August 2011 16:17|
Indiana among America's freest states, study finds
As Hoosiers commemorated America's liberty and independence during the 4th of July weekend, we also celebrated the freedom that comes with living in Indiana - one of the freest states in the nation.
A study released in June by George Mason University's Mercatus Center named Indiana the third freest state in America, behind only South Dakota and New Hampshire. The traditional big-government states of California, New Jersey and New York placed at the bottom of the list.
GMU's study looked at the freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the 50 states in more than 150 policy categories, from education and environmental laws to gun control and taxes.
Its authors pegged Indiana as "one of the rare outposts of freedom in the northeastern quadrant of the country," and commended us for our choice-driven education system and the economic liberties afforded to entrepreneurs and employers through limited intervention and deregulation.
In fact, Indiana finished first among the states in the freeness of its regulatory policies. We were also fourth in personal freedom and 13th in economic freedom. The study found these placements aren't just fodder for bumper stickers; they have a real impact on the prosperity of citizens. Freer states on average have more population growth and income growth than less-free states.
Under the conservative leadership of Gov. Mitch Daniels and both chambers of the General Assembly, Indiana can expect to continue enjoying its place among the freest states in the country. The George Mason study only examined states' policies as of January 2009, meaning the freedom-boosting accomplishments of this year's legislative session - increasing school choice for families, lowering the corporate income-tax rate and broadening gun rights for law-abiding citizens - don't factor in to our third-place showing.
We Hoosiers are truly blessed to live in the land of the free.
Editor's Note: To see how the other states rank go to; http://mercatus.org/freedom-50-states-2011