By Bill Wilson || The global economy is an increasingly high-stakes battlefield, and governments large and small must determine daily when and how to enter that fray.

Do they engage on the side of free markets and expanded individual liberties — promoting greater prosperity and freedom for all people? Or do they align themselves with entrenched interests and bureaucrats bent on expanding centralized power (and political patronage) — thus promoting greater dependency?

Make no mistake: Thousands of such decisions — budgetary, monetary, personnel, regulatory, etc. — help make or break the lives of billions of people around the globe.

Unfortunately, when it should be engaging against established anti-competitive interests — or staying out of policy debates altogether — the federal government of the United States invariably jumps in on the wrong side.

Recent examples include President Barack Obama’s failed economic stimulus, the Federal Reserve’s ongoing money-printing experiment, ObamaCare, the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on energy, the National Security Agency’s domestic spy network and the Internal Revenue Service’s persecution of limited-government groups.

The results of these policies is unmistakable: Record welfare expansion, a shrinking workforce, stagnant wages and lost liberties.

By contrast, the government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently entered a critical policy debate on the right side — directing the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to conduct audits of several radical environmental groups accused of conducting political activity in violation of their tax-exempt status.

Among the groups being audited? The David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, the Pembina Foundation, Tides Canada and West Coast Environmental Law.

The far left in Canada is apoplectic, but the real targets of this action are the radical American billionaires funneling money through faux Canadian front groups — hoping to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline by exploiting the country’s Aboriginal population.

In fact a plan to do precisely that was hatched in 2008 by the uber-liberal Rockefeller Foundation.

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Bill Wilson is a board member of Americans for Limited Government. Follow him on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.