Even as a Canadian, I am appalled at the international debate that has arisen regarding the contribution of the United States to the ODC - a Paris-based organization.
A quick analysis of the 22 donating countries shows that the United States' contribution of $16.254 billion in 2003 was the highest contribution by far and double the next highest contributor (Japan).
The US contribution was about equal to the 15 lowest contributing countries - and more than Germany and France combined.
Where 9 countries *reduced* their contributions in 2003 over 2002, the USA *increased* theirs. And not by a little - by 20%. The $2.964 billion increase equals the *total* contributions from Finland, Austria, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Luxembourg, and New Zealand for 2003.
The only argument that can be made is that the United States gives the lowest % of GDP to the ODC (but not to foreign aid). If Americans were to give the same percentage as Canada (0.24 v 0.15), then the United States would be giving $26 billion rather than $16 billion. On the other hand, there is non-ODC foreign aid that the United States uniquely gives and on a scale that far outweighs the simple ODC measure.
I think it is outrageous to raise this issue at a time like this, but I think the United States can stand tall on its record of generosity.
Now, let's all go help those poor souls get through this tragedy of epic proportions.
It doesn't matter because no matter what we do we are looked upon as the big blue meany. We could give ourselves into poverty and we would still be hated. Nothing can be done about this,that's just the way it is and will always be.