Stingy or Generous?

Americans are sending so much money to the tsunami victims that some relief organizations can't process the cash quickly enough.

And yet here’s the first line of a French press agency story on American giving: “The tsunami (search) disaster in southern Asia has brought to the fore the delicate question of humanitarian and development aid from the United States, one of the least generous of the world's rich countries.”

This is complete garbage. Americans are by far the most generous people in the world. We give seven times more charity per capita than the French do. So how did these lies about American giving get around?

Start with U.N. official Jan Egeland's (search) suggestion that Americans are "stingy." This calculation was made after Egeland added up all the money our government spends on foreign aid. But that completely ignores the much larger amounts of money private individuals and foundations give away. And that's what really bugs Mr. Egeland and the other international bureaucrats.

Americans wisely prefer to bypass the bureaucratic overhead and corruption of organizations like the U.N. and send their money directly to the source. We need look no further than the Oil-for-Food (search) fiasco for an example of how royally U.N. bureaucrats can screw up an aid program.

Americans are not only more generous than other countries; we are also a lot more practical about how we give our money away.

And that’s the Asman Observer.

Watch David Asman on "FOX News Live" weekdays at noon ET.