June 25, 2007, - 1:09 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re like me, you’re tired of hearing the constant whine of millionaire celebs Mr. Angelina Jolie (Brad Pitt), Bono, and Angelina Jolie, herself, telling America and Americans that we’re not generous enough.
An example is Brad Pitt’s summer 2005 interview with Diane Sawyer, where he bemoaned that foreign aid and aid to the poor is only less than 1% of the federal budget. Bono–who is exempt from paying taxes as an “artist” in his native Ireland and who spent $1,700 on a first-class plane ticket for his favorite hat (no lie!)–also frequently claims Americans don’t give enough to the poor.
But guess what? They have no clue what they are talking about. Figures out today show that Americans are not only the most generous people on earth and America the most generous nation, but we are also constantly topping our record magnanimity. The Giving USA foundaiton at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy documents the following:
* Americans gave nearly $295 Billion to charity, last year (2006).
* Americans set a record for donating to charity for at least the second year in a row, with $283.05 Billion given in 2005.
* Americans gave more than twice as much as the next most charitable nation (Britain, which gave 0.73% of its GDP to charity).
* Americans gave 1.7% of our Gross Domestic Product to charity.
* While some of the money donated came from foundations and charities, individual American donors gave a combined 75.6% of the total.
* Even households considered middle-class and lower contributed a lot to charity, with 65% of American households with incomes under $100,000 giving to charity.
The next time you hear Brad Pitt, her husband Angelina Jolie, or pop star Bono excoriating us stingy Americans, lump it in with the rest of the ignorant falsehoods emanating out of La-La Land. While frothy entertainment industry humanitarian dillettantes lie, the numbers don’t:
We are not only the greatest country on earth, we are also the most generous.
Tags: America, Angelina Jolie, artist, Bono, Brad Pitt, Britain, Debbie Schlussel, Diane Sawyer, Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, Ireland, USD