Hey everyone, hope we had a good Christmas season and a safe and happy New Year! The tsunami has everyone around the world focused on southeast Asia and the aftermath that continues to unfold. Jan Egeland, the United Nations (there's an oxymoron) Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that the USA's initial pledge of $10 million was not enough! So Bush upped the ante to $35 million, and there was still grumbling, then outgoing Secretary of State Powell said it was now at $350 million. That appeased the world. It doesn't appease me. If the government is going to spend $350 million, why not take care of the problems in their own country??
It has always been America's "duty" to help those that can't be helped, but I find it easier to stomach donating $20 to the Red Cross to help (which I did), rather than see money I work for taken from me involuntarily to help someone else. What if I needed that money to feed myself or pay for my shelter?? The US is not the world's ATM, contrary to popular belief. Can I apply for federal aid when I get a flat tire on my way to work?? Will I get money for running out of gas?? The answer to those two questions is obviously no.
Private charities come into this equation immensely, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, etc. It's those organizations that specialize in emergency support and aid dispersal, not some bureaucrat in Washington, DC. When 9/11 happened, millions of dollars in private donations came into the coffers to help those traumatized. Now money is re-entering those coffers, not because people are forced to give via the government, but through the goodness of their hearts. Get the government out of foreign aid, and get it back to getting this nation on track.