American Human Development Project, Health People, the Prevention Saves Project, among others, Release Open Letter to the President’s Bipartisan Fiscal Commission

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Letter Urges Commission to Hold a Hearing on Investments in Prevention Today that will Provide Significant Returns in Money Saved or Revenues Added Tomorrow

The American Human Development Project, the Prevention Saves Project, among 15 other partner organizations which include the National Education Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, and the Prevention Institute today sent an open letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform urging it to hold a hearing on prevention-based budgeting in which investments today provide significant returns in money saved or revenues added tomorrow—while also creating safer, more vibrant communities and a healthier, more productive workforce.

The letter includes a table outlining specific investments in prevention that would save hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the years ahead. A portion of the letter reads as follows and the full text may be accessed by clicking the attached file.

“In August 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal budget deficit will exceed $1.3 trillion for 2010. While the need for fiscal austerity is urgent, Congress must make forward-thinking decisions to ensure that short-term cuts will not harm our nation’s long-term well-being and competitiveness in a global marketplace. We respectfully request that the Commission hold a hearing or expert meeting on the potential of investments in prevention to enhance the security of our financial future.

“Years of robust research tell us that prevention, in almost every instance—whether it be physical and mental health, education, criminal justice, environmental protection, or infrastructure—is less expensive and more effective than delaying action until the advent of a full-blown crisis. Furthermore, evidence is overwhelming that to build a 21st century workforce that draws on the talents of everyone in our society, we must invest in people—the real wealth of our nation in an era in which knowledge is paramount. Trimming excessive federal spending is vital, but so is investing in our collective future.”

The letter was signed by the following organizations: American Federation of Teachers—Wisconsin; American Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council; American Public Health Association; Bronx HIV CARE Network; Consortium of Social Science Associations; FirstStar, Putting Children First; Health People; Justice Policy Institute; National Council of Women's Organizations; National Education Association; National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty; 9to5 National Association of Working Women; Peace and Justice Studies Association; Pennsylvania State Education Association; Prevention Institute; P$—The Prevention Saves Project; Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association.

About the American Human Development Project
The American Human Development Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative of the Social Science Research Council working to stimulate fact-based public debate about and political attention to issues that affect people’s well-being and access to opportunity. A hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, a measure that paints a portrait of Americans today and empowers communities with a tool to track progress in areas we all care about: health, education, and standard of living. The Project is made possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Lincy Foundation.


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