How did it happen? Under President Obama, America is following the European socialist model of big government, big spending, big entitlements, big taxes, free health care and billions wasted chasing a mirage called “green energy.” The result is massive debt, insolvency and bankruptcy. We are a nation in decline, much like the old Soviet Union before its collapse. Mr. Obama has taken an America that used to be the pride of the world and turned it into a creaking, 100-year old building that must be evacuated before someone gets hurt.

Meanwhile Canada, our neighbor up north, and Australia, on the opposite side of the world, which we’ve treated as our weak, goofy cousins, have followed the American model of capitalism, free markets and fiscal conservatism. They aren’t modeling Europe, they’re modelingRonald Reagan.

The results are worth noting. Canada and Australia are booming. America is in free fall.

Is it any wonder? Mr. Obama calls cutting spending in the face of economic disaster “radical.” He calls tax cuts to spur the economy “reckless.” He calls massive tax increases for those already paying most of the taxes “fair.” He hysterically claims that the GOP budget, which doesn’t cut nearly enough, would force the closure of “hundreds of national parks.” Note to Mr. Obama: We have only 58 national parks. This is our leader. The world is laughing.

In Canada, the governing party (Conservatives) just pledged to balance the budget by 2015 without raising taxes. Canada is taking the right actions – lower taxes, free trade, cutting the size of government, cutting government employees, cutting debt and balancing the budget.

Canada and Australia are brilliantly capitalizing on their natural resources. They celebrate oil and mineral exploration and energy production. The insane inmates (environmentalists) are not running the asylum. They are streamlining regulations, not adding an ever-increasing regulatory burden that makes it all but impossible to drill for oil, build a refinery, launch a new business or expand an existing one.

Compare this to Mr. Obama, who, at one time, banned offshore drilling, has made the drilling permit process far more difficult, rejected the Keystone XL pipeline (from Canada), and supports new Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that will bankrupt the coal industry in America. He is purposely driving up gas prices and energy bills while running for a second term. His secretary of energy has stated he wants high, European-style gas prices. Mr. Obama himself once said utility bills must skyrocket. How truly insane will his actions be when he is serving a second term, with no need to ever face the voters again?

Canada is raising the age for its version of Social Security from 65 to 67, with an option to defer receipt of benefits for a larger check down the road. They are acting, thinking and governing like the capitalist, free-market, fiscally conservative America I once knew and loved. Like Reagan.

That’s not my opinion. Just look at the Index of Economic Freedom. America was at the top for many years. We’ve fallen to No. 10, and we’re dropping like a rock. Australia is No. 3 and Canada has moved up to No. 6 and is rising fast.For Canada and Australia, it’s “morning in America.” Can you imagine?

But here in our country, it’s “mourning in America.” I no longer recognize Mr. Obama’s America, which has 57 states (his words) and hundreds of national parks (his words). I no longer recognize an America that gives amnesty to illegal immigrants, while suing Arizona for enforcing U.S. immigration law.

I no longer recognize an America that gives weapons to Mexican drug gangs while trying to disarm law-abiding American citizens. I no longer recognize an America that tries to target, hunt, demonize and punish successful taxpayers, while rewarding those who don’t want to work.

I don’t recognize an America that requires me to show identification in order to board a plane, take an college-entrance exam, buy alcohol, pay a doctor, check into a hotel or walk into a government building, but calls it racist to demand an ID in order to vote.

This is an America led by a man who thinks like a foreigner, preaches foreign concepts and speaks a foreign language of Marxism and income redistribution that I cannot understand. I wasn’t surprised when Mr. Obama leaned over to whisper to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (unaware the microphone was on) and said that he would take care of Russia after the election, when he’d have “more flexibility.” I was actually surprised that Mr. Obama did not whisper his “sweet nothings” in fluent Russian.

Today, I’m in love with those countries that remind me of everything I believe in – “Oh Canada,” and “Australia, Land of the Free” – countries that remind me of “America, the (once) Beautiful.”

This column originally appeared in The Washington Times