Congress is mandated to talk about economic policy. Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 indicates that “No money shall be drawn from the Treasure; but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

The fiscal policy we have is not exactly prevailing.

On the other hand, the Executive is the one that gives energy to government. Just like Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #70, “Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government.” The president is the one who theoretically pushes the legislative branch to get things done. Energy is executive leadership. But our government doesn’t seem to look at the foundation of the law. Our country lacks both a competent congress that designates sound fiscal policy and an executive that delivers to promote economic certainty.

Congressmen gave up on tax increases in the fiscal cliff deal. They didn’t realize that they overrule the president on the economy. They were more concerned with Obama’s rhetoric that categorized the Republican Party as the party of the rich. Republicans didn’t even put up a fight. Our country just had a negative growth in GDP. The economy shrunk by .1% in the fourth quarter- the worst economic result since the depression of 2009.

I voted for Romney because I saw no leadership in Obama. There is a lot of talk that goes around in the White House but not enough results. I believed that Romney would’ve been a much more formidable choice than a president that had no experience dealing with the private sector. Even when he had an opportunity to lead, he declined. The Simpson-Bowles Commission? That fell through. This was an Obama created the group but at the end of the day he rejected to support it. In my view, Simpson-Bowles was the right format to decrease our national debt.

There is no present framework to cut the national debt. Obama proposed no new deal to address our country’s dependence on borrowed money. Our president didn’t even mention the word “debt” in his inaugural address. He mentioned the word “deficit” once and dodged the whole issue by spewing liberal orthodoxy, “The commitments we make to each other-through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security-these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.” They do “sap our initiative” since they are dragging this economy to its knees.  But, hey, 16.5 trillion dollars of debt is nothing.

That’s why Governor Christie called the speech as it is. Christie categorized it as “My way or the highway.” Obama didn’t bring up a bipartisan message but a divisive message that infuriates many Republicans instead of encouraging them to sit down with him to solve today’s issues. No luck though. Nothing is done in Washington. It’s a stalemate.

Erksine Bowles agrees. He served as Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton. He’s a Democrat and he believes that the federal government needs to deal with the national debt. Even though the problem is so obvious to him, he couldn’t be more right when he blames both parties for the lack of proposals. They are more interested in winning tomorrow’s election than helping today’s economy. They are doing “absolutely nothing.”

It’s hard then to blame one side. I’ve been blaming the Republican Party for reckless spending-the Bush years were not pretty. But this is now Obama’s economy and the Inaugural Address was his moment to take. The GDP is shrinking and there is no big bully-pulpit speech to promote economic growth.

Obama needs to deliver on leadership.  He needs to insert energy back into the executive. It’s the kind of Chris Christie energy that we need. It’s the kind of Obama from 2008 that we need that brought Americans together. Where is he? Where are his ideas?

 Alex Uzarowicz | Knox College | @AUzarowicz