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On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will introduce a 10-year budget proposal that would over time eliminate Medicare and Medicaid and replace them with less generous health care plans for the elderly, poor, and disabled. The reviews are in, from experts and advocates, and it looks like there's gonna be a fight.

Phasing Out Medicare

Starting with Medicare, Ryan's critics attack his plan as a step back from the single-payer system that, despite looming financing problems, serves the elderly very well.

"There ought to be a TV show called 'That 90s Show,'" said David Cutler, a Harvard economics professor and one-time adviser to President Obama. "What Paul Ryan has in mind is to recreate the managed care era, do for the elderly what we rejected for ourselves."

Republicans will be loath to admit this, but the system Ryan has in mind for Medicare works a lot like dread 'ObamaCare,' too. He developed it in concert with Alice Rivlin, who used to run the Office of Management and Budget for President Clinton. They propose giving the elderly a menu of private insurance options (think the health care exchange) and then subsidizing those plans based on need (think insurance credits). Thus, in addition to all the questions Republicans will have to answer about the plan from experts and stakeholders, they'll have to explain why the health care law is terrible for working adults, but a great idea for retirees.

"I keep talking to Paul and trying to convince him of that," Rivlin told Ezra Klein recently. "But even if he agreed with me, he couldn't say so."

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Jon Stewart was elated Monday night to hear that President Obama would seek a second term and not break up with America.

But Stewart was less than impressed with Obama's first reelection campaign video. That video, released on Monday, features a number of demure, average Americans talking about why they still support Obama.

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Obama Invites Top Lawmakers, Spending Feud Rages AFP reports: "President Barack Obama invited top US Congress leaders for talks to break an impasse on spending cuts, with an elusive deal needed by week's end to avert a partial government shutdown. But Republican House Speaker John Boehner, expected to attend the Tuesday meeting, blasted a tentative compromise with Senate Democrats to slash $33 billion through October 1 as 'not enough' and heavy on 'smoke and mirrors.'"

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9 a.m. ET, and hold a meeting on Libya at 9:30 a.m. ET. They will meet at 10:15 a.m. ET with Congressional Leadership, to discuss ongoing negotiations on a funding bill. Obama will meet at 11:45 a.m. ET with Israeli President Shimon Peres, and they will hold a working lunch at 12:10 p.m. ET. Obama will meet at 2:50 p.m. ET with Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes, and meet at 3:05 p.m. ET with Overseas Private Investment Corporation CEO Elizabeth Littlefield.

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It's not just the House of Representatives.

In another sign that neither side in the spending cut fight is confident that a government shutdown can be avoided, the White House has ordered federal agencies to prep for a government shutdown.

Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post obtained the memo from a federal official, and confirmed its authenticity with the Office of Management and Budget.

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House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) said lawmakers have yet to reach a budget deal after he and other congressional leaders met with President Obama this morning, upping the ante in the spending standoff and increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown by the end of the week.

"While there was good discussion, no agreement was reached," said a readout on the meeting from Boehner's office.

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While the GOP preps House members with guidance in the event of a government shutdown, they're also readying a one-week stop-gap funding bill, including $12 billion in domestic discretionary cuts, and six month's worth of Pentagon funding.

The purpose is simple. If negotiations over a six-month spending package don't yield an agreement in the next day or two, the Congress will be armed with the proper protocols for operating during shutdown. But the House of Representatives will also pass a politically tough temporary funding package -- with cuts too deep for many Democrats to accept -- and leave the question of a shutdown in their hand. If the Senate can pass it, and the President signs it, it buys congressional leaders and the White House another week to hash out a longer plan -- but at the cost of steep, steep cuts. On an annualized basis, it would amount to well over half a trillion dollars.

Both the White House and the Senate Democrats have indicated that their patience with short term measures has run out. Indeed, Republicans have publicly insisted they oppose further stopgaps, suggesting this is a strong-arm negotiating tactic. If they stick to their guns and let this measure fail, House Republicans will lay the shutdown at their feet. Democratic leaders have yet to respond to this development.

At a House GOP caucus meeting Monday evening, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told members to expect to receive guidance on Tuesday outlining protocol in the event of a government shutdown.

If funding for the government is not renewed before Friday, members will be advised to furlough non-essential employees, who will be told not to communicate using office resources in accordance with federal law.

Furloughed employees will have to pitch in their employer's share of monthly health insurance premiums, the student loan repayment program will be terminated when the shutdown begins, and retirement credit will be reduced.

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Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, has declared the five week shutdown of the Indiana legislature -- led by Democrats upset with Republican-led right-to-work laws and Gov. Mitch Daniels' (R) agenda -- to be an unqualified success.

Trumka told TPM at a roundtable with reporters that despite the hardships he said were faced by union workers, labor supporters and Democrats in general in Indiana, progressive-leaning politicians in the Hoosier state were able to pull off the upset win.

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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is considering a run for president, has some strong words in reaction to President Obama's re-election campaign announcement, and Obama's widely-reported goal of raising $1 billion: That it constitutes extortion.

CNN reports:

"Here's a president who 18 months before the election is going to use his office to extort contributions on a scale we've never seen before," Gingrich said in New Hampshire where he addressed the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester. "He's in effect trying to create a Chicago style machine for the whole country with a billion dollars."


And The Hill reports:

"With their announced goal of raising a billion dollars in order to drown out their opposition, one thing is certain: it begins and ends with political extortion," Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said in a statement reacting to Obama's announcement.


TPM has e-mailed Tyler for an explanation of how Obama's reported lofty fundraising goals would constitute extortion. We have not received an immediate reply as of this writing.

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