The Heritage Foundation released its annual report of the world’s freest economies earlier this year. Hong Kong topped the list for the 25th consecutive time thanks to its low-tax, laissez-faire economic policies. A perfect example of how fiscally responsible the government is made headlines shortly after the ratings were released. The Hong Kong government ended fiscal year 2016 with a surplus of nearly $100 billion HKD ($12 billion USD). Instead of spending the money they decided to return one third of it back to the people. In addition, the government also reorganized their tax structure to cut taxes by an additional $16 billion HKD.
The government willingly returning billions of tax dollars is probably hard to imagine for Americans. It’s even harder to imagine the government doing that and cutting taxes at the same time. The United States hasn’t had a budget surplus in decades and when it did the surplus wasn’t given back to the people nor were taxes cut in response. Although, even if the U.S. did have a budget surplus, it would probably be more prudent to use it to pay down the government’s $16 trillion debt. Hong Kong doesn’t have that problem. Their government currently has nearly $1 trillion HKD in reserves.
As a result of a century of Keynesian spending under both Republicans and Democrats, the United States government may never be in such a healthy financial situation. Even the massive tax cuts that the Trump administration is planning won’t make a dent if spending isn’t put under control. The President’s ignorant liberal belief in a trillion dollar infrastructure spending bill won’t help either. The Keynesians are still in control at the White House even if they call themselves Republicans nowadays. At least laissez-faire capitalists will always have Hong Kong to fall back on.