NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

RENDER UNTO CAESAR

March 14, 2007

In a recent interview, John Edwards said, "I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own short-term needs."  Someone should remind the presidential candidate that Americans give as much, if not more, to charity per capita than any people on this planet, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Consider:

  • Americans helped rebuild Europe and Japan after World War II and helped protect them afterwards; we are the world's Good Samaritan not only in terms of money but also in the judicious use of our power.
  • When a raging tsunami devastated much of south and east Asia in 2004, it was U.S. carrier groups and other vessels, as well as American aircraft, that provided desperately needed logistical support.
  • In addition to U.S. government aid for tsunami relief, Americans poured their compassion and their dollars into the coffers of such relief agencies as CARE and the Red Cross.
  • According to a recent book by Arthur Brooks, "Who Really Cares" Americans also donate their time -- some $150 billion worth annually (calculated at a rate of about $18 an hour).

Back in 2004, Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said the United States was "stingy" in foreign aid development because it gave only 0.14 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to foreign aid compared with his native Norway's 0.92 percent.  Of course, ours was a smaller piece of a pie 50 times larger, and it was easy for Norway to give a bigger share with U.S. taxpayers defending that country, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Render unto Caesar," Investor's Business Daily, March 14, 2007.

 

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