So a day after the Tsunami hits the coast in Asia and India, Jan Egeland some low level United Nations staffer (undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator) from Norway of all places calls the US ‘Stingy’. He even went so far as to suggest that western nations “would donate more to the relief efforts if taxes were raised.” Last time I heard Norway (or the UN for that matter) didn’t dictate US tax policy.
I am flat out tired of morons from across the globe thinking that every time something dire happens in the world the US taxpayer should shell out boatloads of cash to fix it. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in helping the victims of this tremendous disaster and their families. I believe that the aid should not come from my taxes but in fact from my pocket if I deem it a worthy cause. After assessing the situation as it was presented in the news (TV, Radio, and Internet), I like many Americans made a significant donation to the relief efforts. It may well not be my last but it will do for now until I better understand the specific organizations that need funds to assist in specific tasks.
As for the US role in supporting relief for this disaster, I highly applaud our nations approach! Sending military forces and assets we have deployed in the region to perform critical tasks like sustenance distribution engineering support and medical services is terrific. First it demonstrates that our military assets can be used for many purposes outside of war specifically. Secondly and more importantly the US Military can perform tasks that no other organization (Govt or Non-Gov) can handle. We have more helicopters on one ‘carrier’ in the Indian ocean than can be found in all of Norway I suspect. Finally funding these activities is more straight forward for the US Government. The cost is incremental since we pay for these personnel and assets anyway.
“So Jan, the next time you feel compelled to suggest the Government here raise my taxes just keep your mouth shut and reach for your own wallet.”