Wisconsin Democrats recently called on Paul Ryan to offer specifics about his party’s tax plan. State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca issued a statement saying, “It’s time for specifics, leading means being straight, giving us the details.”

Barca is right. Leading requires a certain level of specification. There is no time better than the present for Barca to ask Senate Democrats why they've failed to provide a budget for the past three years. These are the sorts of specifics that leaders are supposed to provide, a vision for the country’s finances that attempt to hold our elected leaders accountable for tough choices on debt concerns.

Democrats have largely avoided offering a budget this year to keep vulnerable members safe in an election year. It didn’t stop Republicans, however.

Congressman Ryan authored a budget that passed in the House, but stalled in a Democratic-led Senate. Ryan’s proposal sought to rein in entitlements and lower deficits, a teachable moment for Barca on the meaning of true leadership.

President Obama billed himself as a post-partisan outsider that would shake up Washington and unify the country. The benefit of unity, of course, is intra-party collaboration; but when leaders can't or won’t pass a budget, it sends a message to the public that our president has failed to lead.

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