U.S. aid?

The U.S. gives way, way more money in foreign aid than any other country, but that's mostly because we are way, way richer than most countries. As a percentage of our GDP, we don't give very much. So, even though we give a lot absolute dollars, we could give a shitload more. On the other hand, we give a lot through private charities (which, of course, makes the conservatives as pleased as punch). I'm not sure if giving money to your church counts as giving money to charity or not, but a lot of charities are church-based.
We are also, to quote Charles Krauthammer (which I am not inclined to do), the world's fire department, in that we bear the brunt of the world's military "peace-keeping" missions. So, some might argue that we give a significant amount if we factor in our non-monetary contributions. That doesn't cut it for me. The accusation of stinginess might have been in poor taste, but it's true. More precisely, because of the weak political will of leaders in Washington, no politican or beauracrat has been successful at conveying the message that international development, humanitarian aid, and other forms of crisis intervention are as important to the interests of the U.S. as fighting terrorism. I believe that George Bush, like most Americans, is a good person whose heart truly aches for the incomprehensible destruction in Asia. But after the shock of this event, after the headlines fade to the second, third, last page, or dissappear, this country will settle back into its blissful ignorance of just how incredibly fucked up this planet is, and we'll feel comfortable about spending our money on bombs and stupid bullshit again.

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