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Letter: U.S. generosity

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

I need to set the record straight after your DN Reader's Forum comment from Alicia Platt, "Increasing Aid," included a misleading statement.

I served as a volunteer lobbyist at the United Nations for 7 years. And one of the figures foreign diplomats loved to quote was that the USA is down the list when it comes to international giving. Ms. Platt also said we give only 1 percent of our budget to International Affairs.

This is very misleading, and here is why. It is true our "government" does not give as much in charitable aid as some other nations' governments.

But ... when "individual contributions" are considered, the USA is the No. 1 most generous nation on the earth. Last year we gave $335.2 billion to charity, over 2 percent of our GDP. No other country came close to that.

In our system, we properly believe charitable donations should come from the voluntary donations of individuals and not from confiscatory government taxation. We were also No. 1 in volunteer time given and in helping strangers.

Please, let's correct this misunderstanding so people will realize how benevolent and generous Americans really are. Plus we understand the proper role of government.

Jim Green

Heber City

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