U.S. generosity in foreign aid

Friday, March 11, 2011; 6:19 PM

It's interesting and a bit disappointing when the excellent column "The Fact Checker" either is not clear or misleads.

Glenn Kessler's March 3 column ["Four pinocchios for the American public on the budget"] chided the United States for not stepping up to the plate when it comes to foreign aid, calling America a "miser."

Kessler correctly supported his contention with the fact that the United States is last on the list of 22 countries when our contributions are compared as a percentage of gross domestic product.

He failed to note, however, that we are by far the largest contributor in terms of dollars in the world. To properly reflect the reality of whether we are truly misers, he should have provided dollar amounts as well.

Kessler also rightly indicated that some aid is in the form of military spending and is not reflected in the percentages. The U.S. military is better equipped to provide emergency medical aid, fresh water and rescue efforts than any other organization in the world.

The United States is the most generous and responsive country the world has ever known. To not acknowledge that is to not provide the facts.

Christopher S. Moody, Gaithersburg

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