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Under the Senate's so-called "Gang of Six"* debt plan unveiled this week, percent of deficit reduction that comes through spending cuts to social programs including health care, education and environmental protection:100
Amount by which the plan cuts Medicare, the health care program for seniors, over a decade:at least $298 billion
Amount by which it would cut military benefit programs, such as health plans for soldiers and veterans:$80 billion
Portion of the immediate deficit reduction savings outlined in the proposal that would come from reducing Social Security benefits:1/5
Under the plan, amount less per year the average Social Security recipient would receive at age 75:$560
Sue Sturgis is the Director and regular contributor to the Institute for Southern Study's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.