Our nation has a long heritage of generosity. But we, as a nation, should not make humanitarian contributions to other nations unless we can afford to do so.
Individuals with sufficient means readily give to the needs of others. In times of many disasters, individual contributions have overshadowed even the huge amounts given by our government.
But as I write this post, our government is out of money. Our government is running at a deficit in the TRILLIONS of dollars. We cannot currently afford to give humanitarian aid out of the federal budget.
Each year, we, as a nation, give billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. We need to stop doing so, until we come to the point that we can again afford to do so out of our excess. It harms our country to borrow money, for example, from China to give to Haiti.
Again, individuals can -- and should be encouraged to -- give to those in need, whether domestic or international. There are many groups that aggregate funds and goods, and then provide them to those in need. A few examples are the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Our government does encourage such contributions though tax deductibility.
You can give to the Red Cross via their website (redcross.org) or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross. As I write this post, we are learning more about the earthquake in Haiti, for which you can contribute $10 directly via the Red Cross' International Response Fund by texting "Haiti" to 90999.
You can give via AmeriCares, either via their website (AmeriCares.org) or by calling 1-800-486-HELP.
Another humanitarian organization is Care. They can be reached either online (Care.org) or by phone at 1-800-521-CARE.
And Operation USA can be reached via their website (opusa.org), by phone at 1-800-678-7255, or by mail at Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
But our government should not give directly until it can do so without further increasing our debt.
(Links for relief organizations are courtesy of Neal Boortz, an Atlanta-based radio host with a website at boortz.com; he has more information on Haiti relief efforts here.)
Cross-posted under Political Positions.