Merriam-Webster defines progress as “the process of improving or developing something over a period of time” or the “gradual betterment; especially: the progressive development of humankind.”

By that definition, today’s progressives are the primary impediment to progress.

Progressive policies reduce incomes, reduce employment, reduce opportunity, reduce entrepreneurship, reduce innovation, reduce economic and social dynamism, reduce productivity improvements, and reduce the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses. They ship jobs overseas. They harm children and young people by standing in the way of school choice options, by creating inadequate youth employment opportunities, and by encouraging policies that saddle them with massive student debt, a massive national debt, and crushing unfunded entitlement obligations.

Progressive policies increase costs, increase deficits, increase the national debt, and increase the future unfunded obligations of government programs. Progressive policies increase the power of government, empower bureaucrats and lawyers, and reduce the freedom and prosperity of the American people.

If you want to get a look at what progressive policies mean for Americans, look across the Atlantic at Europe’s slow economic growth. Look at Europe’s high debt levels. Look at Europe’s high unemployment rateespecially youth unemployment—and the duration of unemployment. It is not a pretty picture.

President Bush gave us a number of counterproductive spending, education, and regulatory policies; President Obama has accelerated the growth of government at a rate that puts him in a class by himself.

The ways in which progressive policies impede progress are innumerable. But these destructive progressive policies deserve particular note.

To realize the promise of American life, for our families to flourish and to prosper, and for our society to actually progress rather than descend into stagnant despair and discord, progressivism needs to be recognized for what it is: the anti-progress philosophy. Progressive policies are the primary impediment to a better life for the American people.