Obama’s Checkbook

One of my best friends is a financial adviser and he always says if you want to know the priorities of a person, check their checkbook.  The President, yesterday, released his “checkbook”, in a way, when the White House released his 1040 IRS filing for 2010. (The Obama’s charitable giving in 2010 and a link to their 1040 filing are at the end of this post.)

First, let me say, I think it is incredible that we live in a country where the President and his wife actually make their tax filings public.  I don’t know of another country’s leader who does this, but I am sure there are only a handful of leaders around the world who would make their personal finances public.

I believe transparency is key to knowing what a government agency, corporation, or organization is up to.  When the lights go on, the rats scatter.  We need the light of day to be shone in the dark corners of government and politician’s activities. Currently, there are too many loopholes and ways politicians shelter their activities from public view.  I wish my Illinois representatives and Chicago city officials would opt for more transparency in their actions.

Second, I also want to applaud the President and First Lady for giving 14.2% of their income to charity.  They gave to 36 different charities (see insert) and I am sure they are fine charities.

However, the Obama’s have claimed to be Christians and hold to the tenants on which our faith is founded.  But they are not representing Christ well in the handling of their finances as not a single church or evangelistic ministry is among their contributions.  Their giving does not reflect a Christian’s obedience to God’s word to give to causes that advance His work.

The President said at the National Prayer Breakfast, “My Christian faith has been sustaining for me….We [the President and his wife] are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God.”

I believe the President’s charitable giving is a clear sign of his priorities…  So this leads me to believe that the President is not mature in his faith by not following the Biblical advice on giving to God’s work.   Or it shows his words were spoken for political gain and not reflective of a true conviction.

It saddens me that the President’s faith isn’t stronger and his faith doesn’t impact his financial giving.  It would anger me if I believed I am being lied to and my faith is being used as a political pawn, so he, or anyone else, could gain some additional support or favor.

In the end, I am not the ultimate judge in this question.  Ultimately his faith is between God and himself, but for me, I am using his lack of leadership in giving to causes that impact Christ’s kingdom as an opportunity to review my own checkbook and make sure my priorities are in line with Christ’s.

“For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also”.  Matthew 6:21

Obama’s 1040


About C.H. Dyer

I am the CEO of Bright Hope. I am dedicated to helping those who earn less than $1.00 a day. There are one billion people in my target market (the extreme poor) and I could use some help. I am a Christian, father of three (two are internationally adopted), entrepreneur, speaker, improving writer and amateur photographer.

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