Carter: Rich Countries ‘Don’t Give a Damn’ About Poor

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter criticized rich countries, including the United States, for being stingy in aid to poor countries, saying “We really don’t give a damn.”

Carter: Rich States ‘Don’t Give a Damn’ About Poor (Reuters)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Thursday harshly criticized his own country and other wealthy states for being stingy with foreign aid and said in rich countries “We really don’t give a damn.” In a speech to a human rights conference in Atlanta, Carter said increasing financial assistance was critical to battling malaria, AIDS and other common diseases that disproportionately affect the poorest parts of the world. “Unfortunately, in the rich countries like ours, we really don’t give a damn,” said Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981 and who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

He especially criticized the United States for failing to follow other Western nations which are increasing spending. Although America tops the foreign aid donor list in dollar terms, it falls behind the Netherlands, Canada and many other smaller, less affluent nations when contributions are measured on a per capita basis. U.S. foreign aid is approximately 0.18 percent of gross national product, the lowest of any G-7 nation and far below a 0.7 percent United Nations target that 22 of the world’s developed nations have agreed to meet by 2015.

It’s about time for Americans to quite giving a damn what Carter thinks.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eagle1 says:

    Jimmy who?

  2. Brian J. says:

    Wait a minute. I thought we were just damned for giving billions to Iraq instead of rebuilding America…..

    I am such a bad citizen. I keep forgetting if we’re at war with Eurasia or Eastasia.

  3. Meezer says:

    What a jerk. I’ve never said that about a president before, but honestly! He of all ex-presidents should know how much is given and volunteered by the private sector.

  4. Just Me says:

    I can’t help but wonder just how well off the poor around the world would be, if the US decided to truly become stingy.

  5. Maggie says:

    Is THAT why Carter tried to make the US a poor country when he was in office?

    I always wondered what the hell he was trying to do!

  6. Improbulus Maximus says:

    Quothe Maggie:
    ” Is THAT why Carter tried to make the US a poor country when he was in office?
    I always wondered what the hell he was trying to do!”

    You nailed it right on the head. Carter was and still is a big dumbass who was a better friend to the Soviets to to his own people. He even tried to use the Russians to help defeat Regan in ’84, but as usual, he was ineffective and pathetic in his treason moreso than dangerous. He is a traitor who should be taken out and shot, it’s just that simple. The problem with America is that when we got saddled with that idiot Kennedy we lost the ability to discern right from wrong it seems. Free speech is one thing, treason quite another, and Carter and the Dhimmicrats are all traitors.

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    But, then, when you add all forms of foreign aid including corporate, individual aid to organizations and individual aid to individuals, the United States is among the most generous nations in the world on a per capita basis as well as overall. Sheesh.

  8. Bill Nesler says:

    The problem is not that the USA is not spending enough money in the developing world. The problem is the way the money is spent. A huge portion of this money winds up in the hands of the kleptocrats in the UN and various beaurocracies in various governments. Even when the money is actually spent on developement or humanitarian projects it is seldom used wisely. A good example is the WHO’s betnets for malaria control fiasco. We in the developed world would never stand for this kind of a proposed solution for An insect borne disease.

  9. Maggie says:

    Well, Bill Nesler, you can sleep at nights…knowing that Bill Clinton will be watching how the tsunami funds of the UN are spent!


  10. mike says:

    I have to agree w/ Dave – we supply almost 1/4 of the UN budget – I am all for giving more to the world but I would also like to trim the fat b/c we give a lot as it is; unfortunately it is wasted on the wrong folks such as the UN. Anytime you give to a long established bureacracy, it is just wasted on the wrong folks.

  11. Bill Nesler says:

    Yes Maggie you have the proper gut feel for this. Clinton is , I’m sure just another kleptocrat.