Foreign Aid

FOREIGN AID….Here’s the latest from George Bush:

Touting U.S. generosity in fighting AIDS and poverty, President Bush said Wednesday he would challenge European allies to make a “similar commitment” on those fronts when he travels to the continent next week.

Bush, speaking to graduating cadets during a commencement exercise at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, said he would ask European nations, along with Japan and Canada, to “match their good intentions with real resources.”

Goodness, yes, it sure would be nice if those high minded Europeans would put their money where their mouth is, the way we do.

In fact, my handy World in Figures from the Economist reports that we spend, um….hold on a second here….about, um….

That’s funny, the United States doesn’t seem to appear on their list of the largest international aid donors. Denmark tops the list, followed by the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, France, and the UK. In fact, 17 of the 24 countries on the list are from Europe. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are there too. But not the United States.

As it turns out, our aid budget is about $11 billion per year ? and closer to $8 billion if you exclude Israel. If we matched the generosity of even the hated French, #9 on the list, our budget would be $32 billion.

So what kind of “similar commitment” is Bush talking about? Try to guess before you click More….

Ha ha, fooled you all:

The president accused Europe of hindering efforts to tackle famine in Africa because of its objections to the use of genetically modified crops.

“They have blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears,” Bush said.

In other words, Bush couldn’t care less about aid to poor countries. He was just using this speech as a prop in our ongoing GM food war with the Europeans and as a way to curry favor with American agricultural interests.

Are we surprised?

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