America is a nation conceived in shared ideals. Penned into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are the ideas of individual liberty and free enterprise. These two fundamental ideological pillars of our society are the catalysts that spawned America’s rapid ascension to greatness.

We have always been a nation of innovators, creative thinkers, and hard workers. The dream to be free, independent, and self-reliant runs deep in our veins. America continues to be a powerful magnet for those denied entrepreneurial opportunity in other lands.

Entrepreneurship, as Heritage experts have demonstrated, is the driver for strong economic growth; without it, long-term stagnation is the more likely outcome. Government policies make a difference, and all too often, misguided government actions stifle entrepreneurship. Our leaders must send a message to those dreaming of a better life that government will no longer stand in their way.

Repealing Obamacare, reducing deficit spending, eliminating unnecessary regulations, and approving the pending free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama are just a few of the measures the government should take to foster an entrepreneur-friendly environment leading to economic growth.

Data from the Index of Economic Freedom show that countries friendly to entrepreneurs enjoy higher standards of living. Naturally, when government gets out of the way, people and business flourish. Increase the possible reward for starting a business and suddenly people are more willing to take risks. Some new enterprises will fail, but many more will succeed.

Our economy remains sluggish, and many have called on the government for assistance, but we must remember that bigger government diverts resources from private endeavors and is as likely to hamper as it is to promote the entrepreneurial endeavors we need for future growth and prosperity.

The solution to our current situation lies in our past, our roots. It is time for our government to return to a limited role in our lives and allow for the unleashing of the American spirit. We can no longer afford to be afraid of failure, nor can we afford to be afraid of greatness.

Aaron Walling is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: