Apparently the U.N. thinks we are being too stingy in our response to the tsunami disaster. This is according to Jan Egeland, an Undersecretary-General of that august body, who had this to say:
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
Of course Jan thinks that the real problem is that we don't pay enough in taxes over here:
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."
I have a couple of thoughts. First, don't you think Jan is a real dork? I sure do.
Second, does anyone know what an Undersecretary-General at the UN makes? In fact, our buddy Jan makes over 180 thousand (you will need Excel to read this file). I don't know about you, but it really chaps my ass that this furinner who is making tall coin sucking at the public teat (with me and you picking up 27% of that, thank you very much) has the nerve to complain that us common folks who actually have to earn our daily bread aren't paying enough. How much are you contributing to the relief effort, Jan?
And, in fact, America has never been "stingy" in response to any humanitarian crisis. As George Bush noted this morning:
"In the year 2004, our government provided $2.4 billion in food and cash and humanitarian relief. ... That's 40 percent of all the relief aid given in the world last year," he said.
The President said that the 35 million we have pledged is only the beginning. And, of course, we are doing a lot more. We have a carrier group and an amphib group on the way, and C-130s loaded with stuff. And this is just the first wave, we are taking over a Thai base to deploy air assets to assist with the relief efforts. There is no way that Norway or any other country (or, frankly, the rest of the world combined) could match this level of effort, even if they had an inclination to.
Finally, when the hell are we going to tell the U.N. that they should take their act elsewhere?