To many in the United States, including conservatives who embrace the Pope as one of their own on social issues, that question is akin to asking what would Jesus do, only with fresher answers.
The pontiff — who today was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year — used his first, personally authored apostolic exhortation last week to provide guidance on what he would do about the growing gap between the rich and the poor. Two days later, President Barack Obama weighed in on the same subject in his third speech about growing income inequality in the U.S.
The Pope was more dramatic, prescriptive, and moral, writes Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson. The president had to couch his analysis in self-interest, this being America governed by a Congress unmoved by the poor being blessed and inheriting the earth.