From the Wall Street Journal, May 13. It's sometimes said Americans are stingy when it comes to foreign aid. Perhaps, but a recent study reports that our $19.7 billion in gov't aid in 2004 topped the charts and was more than #2 and #3 combinedâJapan and France. Far more important, private contributions (schools, religious groups, foundations, companies, families and individuals) chipped in, conservatively, $71 billion. As usual in the U.S., it's the private sector and citizenry that lead the way. Incidentally (not so incidentally) $47 billion of the $71 billion came from individuals, not institutions.