FACTBOX-Republicans, Democrats advance debt plans

Reuters

(Reuters) - Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress who serve on a "super committee" tasked with slashing deficits have advanced rival plans to address the country's mounting fiscal woes as negotiations heat up before a Nov. 23 deadline.

Here is a summary of their plans as described by congressional aides:

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REPUBLICANS

* Want to cut deficits by a total of $2.2 trillion over 10 years, largely through spending cuts.

* Would include a tax overhaul that would close loopholes and breaks for targeted industries, but those savings would be used to lower overall tax rates. Republicans say that approach would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue from the increased economic growth that would presumably follow.

* Would cut $500 billion from the Medicare health insurance program for retirees, in part by raising premiums.

* Would cut $185 billion from the Medicaid health plan for the poor.

* Would cut $100 billion from other healthcare programs. Those were not specified but could come from benefits for the military, federal employees or President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law.

* Would cut $400 billion from other benefit programs. They could include retirement benefits for federal employees, farm subsidies or food assistance for the poor.

* Would cut $250 billion from discretionary spending, which funds most government agency budgets.

* Would change the way benefits are indexed to inflation, which would slow the growth of Social Security retirement benefits and certain tax breaks.

* Could also auction off underused portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and raise airline fees.

DEMOCRATS

* Would cut deficits by $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion over 10 years through an equal mix of tax increases and spending cuts.

* $200 billion to $300 billion in new stimulus spending to boost the economy would be offset by the lower interest payments that would result from the narrowed deficits.

* Would cut $400 billion from Medicare, split between reduced benefits and lower payments to healthcare providers.

* Would cut $100 billion from Medicaid. (Reporting by Andy Sullivan, Richard Cowan and Donna Smith; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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