Tuesday’s report that Pope Francis has chosen to live in a modest two-room apartment within the Vatican rather than the more spacious ten-room Papal Apartment on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace offers a stark contrast to the numerous reports of personal extravagance by President Obama, his family, and his administration throughout his tenure in office.
Since December, the Obama family has averaged one vacation per month. In February, President Obama flew to Florida at taxpayer expense for a day of golfing with Tiger Woods. Vice President Joe Biden’s recent one-night stay at a luxury hotel in Paris, France was estimated to cost taxpayers $585,000.
Judicial Watch, which has just launched an investigation into the cost to taxpayers of the recent spring break vacation to the Bahamas of First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, estimated that their spring break trip to Mexico last year cost taxpayers $115,000. First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Spain in 2010 with a large entourage of friends and family was estimated to have cost taxpayers $467,000. Her 2011 trip to South Africa cost at least $424,000.
President Obama inherited a $10 trillion federal debt and has increased it to $17 trillion by running annual deficits that have exceeded $1 trillion in every year of his administration to date. In contrast, Pope Francis inherits a Vatican treasury that had a $19 million deficit in 2011, following a $12.5 million surplus in 2010.
By personal example, Pope Francis is letting the world know he intends to be a good steward of the financial resources of the Catholic Church. In contrast, the personal example of President Obama shows that he has little concern for his obligation to be a good financial steward of the taxes paid to the federal government by the citizens of the United States.
When he entered the priesthood in 1958, Pope Francis took a vow of poverty. When he was elected President in 2008, President Obama vowed to transform America. By his spendthrift actions, it appears that we now know that what President Obama truly meant to accomplish by that vow was to inflict poverty on American taxpayers.