Early this year, The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom reported that the U.S. economy is no longer in the top tier of economically free countries and runs the risk of falling further behind. This disappointing news is vividly echoed in World Economic Forum’s just-released study, Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011.

According to the report, which is based in part on an opinion survey among more than 13,000 business leaders around the globe, America is losing its competitiveness edge, slipping over the last 2 years from 1st place to 4th place among the world’s economies. Specifically, the report highlights the rapid increase in U.S. government debt, noting that mapping out a clear plan for ending stimulus spending “will be an important step in reinforcing [America’s] competitiveness going into the future.”

Indeed, governments’ policy choices shape entrepreneurial environments in the short term, but more importantly, over the long haul as well. As we have suffered through the summer of NO economic recovery, the Obama Administration’s response has been proposals for higher and ever increasing stimulus spending, trading long-term competitiveness for illusory short-term gains that are proving transient at best.

Yet, fortunately, the American people are waking up and voicing their concerns about rising government intrusion that saps our economic dynamism. As The Economic Freedom Agenda for America, the Heritage Foundation’s policy roadmap for restoring economic freedom and competitiveness, reminds us, now is the time to act “to arrest the decline of freedom and assert our rights as free people to set our own course toward greater prosperity in the future.”