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Facing South

Gang of Six Takes from Poor, Gives to Rich

A look at the numbers

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

At age 85: $1,000

Current top marginal income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations: 35%

Lowest rate to which that would be reduced by the Gang of Six proposal: 23%

Estimated amount in profits being held offshore by U.S. companies, which under the plan would see an end to taxation of most of their overseas profits: $1 trillion

Amount by which the Gang of Six plan claims to reduce deficits over the next decade: almost $4 trillion

Amount by which the plan would actually reduce revenue by 2021, compared to the Congressional Budget Office's current law baseline: $1.5 trillion

Number of weeks left to reach a deal before the U.S. could begin to default on its debt obligations: less than 2

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Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis

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.

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