Who’s stingy?

Who’s stingy?

: The NY Times headline this morning says: “Irate Over ‘Stingy’ Remark, U.S. Adds $20 Million to Disaster Aid.’

Now that makes a direct cause-and-effect relationship; the headline says we added $20 million because of the U.N. “stingy” crack.

The story does not back that up. I don’t believe the facts back that up.

: Somebody tell me when France decides to add to its $170,000. [That’s in Australian dollars, I’m now told. The amount in U.S. dollars: $135,000.]

: Donations to Amazon’s relief fund passed $1 million before 7 this morning.

: UPDATE: Bush responds to the “stingy” crack. He says it was misguided and misinformed. He said that in 2004, the U.S. provided $2.4 billion in government relief — not including private relief — and that was 40 percent of worldwise aid. “We’re a very generous and kind-hearted nation,” he said.

: UPDATE: The Washington Times says it went over the transcript of the first Egeland briefing:

Despite his claim of being “misinterpreted,” a review of the transcript of Mr. Egeland’s initial press briefing confirms that he asked reporters at the United Nations why Western countries are “so stingy” and specifically cited the United States as an example of a country whose citizens want to pay more taxes so that foreign aid can be increased.

“An unprecedented disaster like this one should lead to unprecedented generosity,” Mr. Egeland said in his Monday briefing.

Mr. Egeland complained that the United States gives only 0.14 percent of its gross domestic product to foreign development aid, compared with 0.92 percent given by his native Norway. In this category, Norway ranks first and the United States ranks last on a list of 22 industrialized nations compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“The foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of their gross national income,” Mr. Egeland said on Monday. “I think that is stingy really. I don’t think that is very generous.”

He pointed out that only Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as the Netherlands and Luxembourg, give at least 0.7 percent of their gross national income, a level suggested by the United Nations 25 years ago.

Mr. Egeland