Just when I thought the UN was doing something vaguely useful by organizing relief efforts for the decimated coastlines around the Bay of Bengal, some UN spokeswoman uses the disaster to lecture the United States on the evil of low tax rates.
"The United States, at the president's direction, will be a leading partner in one of the most significant relief, rescue and recovery challenges that the world has ever known," said White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy.
But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.
There's plenty more of one thing available for you anyway, Jan (oops, he's a man!): my fist to your face. I will elbow you straight in the nuts without even thinking about it. You're obviously unaware that private international assistance makes up more than 60% of America's contribution to developing countries -- that's right! We're so freaking generous that our government doesn't need to take our money at gunpoint through taxation -- we like helping people.
At $9.9 billion, ODA accounts for just 18 percent of total U.S. assistance-public and private-to developing countries (table 6.1). Private international assistance, by contrast, is $33.6 billion-60 percent of the U.S. contribution, and projected to grow to 65 percent by 2010. Every year the publication of the DAC report results in press reports and statements by academics and opinion leaders disparaging America’s "stinginess," asserting that U.S. foreign policy will be ineffective without more ODA, and claiming that U.S. foreign aid programs collapsed after the Cold War. But ODA is a limited and outdated way of measuring a country’s giving. Given the enormous growth in the private sector around the world, donors should reevaluate the measure.
I betcha Jan the Man isn't even taking into account the non-monetary contributions the United States is providing -- and that only we are capable of.
Money and food are not the only types of aid being sent by the Bush administration. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also is sending a 21-member disaster-relief team to the region.
Also, the Pentagon has dispatched military patrol planes from the Pacific Fleet. President Bush has written letters of condolence to seven of the affected nations — Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, the Maldives and Malaysia.
Yes, that's right, only the United States of America can send letters of condelence from President Bush -- so suck it, Jan (who is a man, despite his name).
Oh, plus we've got military assets to ensure security in the aftermath of the disaster and prevent China from just sweeping in and pushing the survivors into the sea. Yeah, China, you know, that huge country right next door that hasn't yet offered to assist at all? They've got plenty of taxation, since they're communist and all, and yet they don't seem to be measuring up to Jan's ideal. Maybe he should publically denigrate them and see how far he gets.
So to the Man-Jan and the UN: screw off. My sufficiently high taxes pay a quarter of your salary, so don't lecture me on being generous towards the less capable.
The UN spokeswoman has decided to back-pedal in response to my comments.
Additionally, Israel is sending relief supplies to the majority Muslim victims even though some of their help is being rejected. No word yet on how much assistance Muslim nations are planning to send.