There are two main issues with this meme:
- Country rankings are relative – http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking . That we dropped could mean either that we got worse, or that other countries got better.
- The organization deciding the criteria is American conservative ( http://www.heritage.org/about ). As such, it would be tempting for it to weigh things in such a way that Obama would look bad. This is particularly the case considering that some criteria are qualitative ( http://www.heritage.org/index/about#faqs , question 3).
- A lot of the criteria are more a matter of legislature than the executive. So it isn’t a matter to lay at Obama’s doorstep, but Congress.