The United States gives less than two-tenths of 1% of national income to international development aid. That puts us behind Britain, France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Finland.
A government that has known no limit to budget deficits now can’t see its way to raise development aid to a mere seven-tenths of one percent of national income to match other industrialized nations.
A National Security Council bureaucrat tells the New York Times, “the US has no intentions of committing itself to a specific timetable to reach the seven-tenths timetable.”
It’s embarrassing and stingy.
Worse, it’s immoral, and at least one world leader has said so.
Speaking at a news conference in London yesterday Prime Minister Tony Blair said he fears his own conscience.
Knowing that 8 million people die each year because they are too poor to survive, Prime Minister Blair asked how we would answer the question that future generations will ask, “How could wealthy people so aware of such suffering simply turn away and busy themselves with other things?”
How, indeed. With all the talk about traditional values, where is the discussion of the the most basic value of all, “Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself?”