Yesterday, in the U.S. Senate, the Ryan plan was brought up to a vote and rejected 58-41. As he has done in the past, Johanns voted for this regressive legislation. All of the Democrats - including Ben Nelson - voted against it. Moreover, five Republicans also voted against it.
We've discussed the Ryan plan here in the past on numerous occasions so there isn't any reason to revisit all of the details. In a nutshell, it ends Medicare's guaranteed benefit, takes health care coverage from millions of Americans, brings back pre-existing conditions clauses and cuts taxes for corporations and the wealthy. In other words, the Ryan plan cuts Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that benefit seniors, the middle class and the poor to finance tax cuts for the wealthy.
The Ryan plan isn't a bona fide deficit reduction program - it doesn't even balance the budget until 2040. Instead, the Ryan plan is more of a blueprint for the implementation of the Republican party's radical and regressive agenda of slashing the safety net and redistributing money upwards.
Once again, Johanns stood with the wealthy and corporations and ignored the best interests of his constituents. On the other hand, Nelson continued to stand with the people who elected him as opposed to the special interests. Nelson - unlike Johanns - represents our values. Nelson continues to prioritize Main Street values over Wall Street values.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Senate campaign will be whether or not Deb Fischer endorses the Ryan plan. Thus far, Fischer has avoided endorsing the Ryan plan and claimed several months ago that she hadn't read it yet. I say it's time for Fischer to read the Ryan plan and tell us where she stands. She needs to get off the fence and commit herself. The voters of Nebraska need to know whether she stands for us or for the corporations.