Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti rescue efforts displays the true nature of the American spirit

A few days ago a 7.0 magnitude earthquake demolished the isle of Haiti resulting in tremendous damage and leaving hundreds of thousand people dead. Within 24 hours of the earthquake and vast devastation, President Obama held a press conference to address the situation and lay out a plan to help those affected by Mother Nature's assault on Haiti. Part of that plan was the White House establishment of a link for people to donate money: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/01/13/help-haiti Along with UNICEF and the Red Cross other private organizations are getting involved. Some examples of non-government aid include $5M of cash donated by Digicel Group, Bank of America donating $1M, Home Depot giving $100K to the Red Cross, Lowe's giving $1M to the Red Cross, and Abbott Laboratories donating $1M as well.

I blog today about the situation facing the Haitian people not because of the timing of President Obama's speech or the potential use of taxpayer money to rebuild portions of Haiti while America mires in a recession; rather to take a moment to reflect on the generosity of the American spirit. While not every American will donate money or offer other assistance to those in Haiti, the American spirit to rally for a cause is on full display for the world. Despite being targeted by some in the Middle East for destruction or being viewed as an arrogant society no one can deny the compassion embedded within the fabric of the American spirit. Where else in the world will a society of private, free citizens donate time and money to assist people around the world in a time of need?

Take a moment to reflect on the American spirit and ask yourself, "Is there something I can do more to make the United States a better place to live?" The impact on the American society of Haiti will wane as rebuilding efforts continue but that should not stop our society from being engaged. Last year citizens all over the United States exercised their right to assembly as they attempted to shed light on the expansion of government and the out of control spending. The groups called for smaller government and lower taxes. Instead of being touted as an example of the America spirit it was painted as angry white men gathering to spew their racist hatred for President Obama.

As we will see in the coming days the donations raised for Haiti will come from private citizens and corporations. Granted the United States government will print, I believe the amount is $80M, money to help rebuild Haiti. The money used by the Federal Government is not taxpayer money, at least not yet, because our government is spending money it does not have. In the end taxpayers will have to make up the difference. With making up that difference a harsh reality will run contrary to the American spirit. Jobs, freedoms, and liberties will be compromised through higher taxes and the devaluation of the American dollar. I bring this up on the heal of the earthquake that devastated Haiti because we have an earthquake of our own brewing in Washington D.C.

Not a physical earthquake but an earthquake that will create greater damage to the country that is the land of the free and the home of the brave. As you donate, say a prayer, or watch the rescue efforts in Haiti keep in mind that our politicians in Washington D.C. are hoping you stay distracted as they continue to strip our freedoms away through increase government spending, taxation, and control over all aspects of our life.