“Stingy” Americans? America is the single largest aid donor in the world. No other country compares to the amount of support that America supplies to disaster relief, yet the United Nations has the audacity to call America “stingy.” That is simply ridiculous, as well as offensive. On Fox News Jan. 2, Charles Krauthammer (a syndicated columnist) appeared with Chris Wallace and made the best statement about America?s generosity: “We are six percent or less of the world?s population, yet we give almost half. We are a very small number of people, relatively speaking, and we carry the weight of a dozen countries.
Secondly, we maintain a military structure that keeps the peace of the world…..Who is in the Indian Ocean with the aircraft carriers, helicopters, skilled personal? No one has the infrastructure in the world, we spend almost half a trillion dollars a year on our military structure, which is essentially the fire department of the planet and is it always at the disposal of people hit in a national disaster….. Incidentally on food aid, we give 60 percent of all the food aid in the world. It is simply irresponsible to talk about the U.S. as anything other than the most generous nation on the planet.”
I could not have said it better than Mr. Krauthammer, nor could I agree more. We are the world’s fire department. We are the world’s piggy bank. We are the world’s host nation and leader in innovation as well as generosity.
President Bush has now secured an immediate $350 million dollars in aide with more to follow as the coming weeks are expected to have the death toll double and reconstruction efforts begin. At first we offered $35 million, at a time when the death toll was under 10,000. Our aid grew ten-fold as the death toll grew ten-fold.
Is this stingy? No way! This also does not mention the difference between the United States’ economic system and the socialist systems of other first-world nations.
Comparatively, our taxes are extremely low; therefore, the amount of private donations excels in the United States. The amount of private American benefactors for disaster relief, especially the tsunami tragedy, is astounding. However, private donations are not counted as part of the “United States of America’s” official aid donations. My heart goes out to all those affected by this epic disaster.
I encourage every American to give what they can to the victims of the Tsunami in Asia and Oceania. This is a great way to experience the kindness of one human being to another. What ever you can do, do it. On this front, I admire President Bush’s initiative to recruit his predecessors to raise private donations.
This was a great way to unite partisan divisions, and help the nation respond to this global disaster.
However, I cannot relent on the accusation of America being “stingy.” I find it not only irresponsible to call the United States not generous, but it is a slap in the face. Why would you ridicule your largest benefactor? That’s certainly not a savvy way to squeeze more money out of us! Well….unless you’re France, then it’s ‘business as usual’ to ridicule your friends.
Rick Loughery is a junior majoring in political science.