On Monday, February 11th the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) joined more than 3500 organizations from all sectors of the economy and society to urge Congress and President Obama to put an immediate end to sequestration budget cuts which threaten to send the economy reeling back into recession and destroy more than two million American jobs.
Additionally, the Nondefense Discretionary (NDD) United community, of which APTR is part of, delivered a letter to Congress, urging leaders to avert sequestration by adopting a "balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs.” Joining together in this effort are nearly 3,200 national, state, and local organizations from all fifty states representing the health, education, law enforcement, science, housing, workforce, transportation, and faith communities, among others. Despite their diverse priorities, these organizations share a common purpose of protecting the core government functions that make up NDD spending.
"APTR is urging congress to avoid sequestration and further cuts to nondefense discretionary programs. These programs have already faced enormous cuts,” said Allison Lewis, APTR Executive Director.
"Over the past two years, discretionary programs have already contributed substantially to deficit reduction through some $1.5 trillion in spending. During that time, NDD programs were cut by 9 percent on average, with many programs cut by as much as 50 percent. Continued cuts will have consequences for every American, threatening the health, safety , and competiveness of the United States.We need a balanced approach that does not include further cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs.”
In 2011, NDD spending represented less than one-fifth of the federal budget and 4.3 percent of our country's Gross Domestic Product ( GDP). Under strict discretionary caps in the bipartisan Budget Control Act (BCA), by 2021 NDD spending will decline to just 2.8 percent of GDP, the lowest level in at least 50 years. If sequestration is allowed to take effect, cuts to NDD programs will be even deeper. Over the past two years, discretionary programs have already contributed substantially to deficit reduction through some $1.5 trillion in spending. During that time, NDD programs were cut by 9 percent on average, with many programs cut by as much as 50 percent. Continued cuts will have consequences for every American, threatening the health, safety , and competiveness of the United States.
The letter explains some of what Americans will lose if Congress and President Obama don't avert sequestration through a balanced approach to deficit reduction:
Indiscriminate cuts threaten the entire range of bipartisan national priorities. Further cuts could mean Americans may be left waiting longer for help after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. They may be more susceptible to deadly infectious diseases, like the West Nile virus, hantavirus, and meningitis. Fewer displaced workers receive training for skills that employers are hiring. With fewer air traffic controllers, flights may be curtailed. Classroom size may increase as teachers are laid off. National parks will have fewer visitor hours. Roads and bridges will continue to crumble. Gang violence and other illicit activity may increase with fewer FBI agents and police on the streets.
The organizing body for this effort known as the "NDD United” is comprised of 60 delegates representing the breadth of diverse interests in NDD programs. The NDD United will serve as a forum for coordinating efforts to educate the public and policymakers on the importance of NDD and to protect these programs from additional cuts.
To view a copy of the letter, click here: http://publichealthfunding.org/uploads/NDD3200Letter.Final.Feb2013.pdf