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    Giant Cuts proposed to kids' programs!
    Dear Friend,

    Something doesn't add up.

    These days you hear a lot of members of Congress saying, "Governments need to budget like families do." I couldn't agree more. Every family I know budgets by putting the health, safety, and future of their children first. But what gets me is that some of the same members of Congress who advocate for budgeting like families are--at the same time!--doing the opposite by putting critical programs for children's health and education on the chopping block.

    Just last week the House of Representatives unveiled their new spending plan for the rest of fiscal year 2011. This proposed budget puts our kids last with drastic cuts to programs that are critical for families and our long term economic health. And, the House is expected to vote on these cuts THIS WEEK. Time is tight!

    *Take a moment now to tell Congress to get their priorities straightened out: Urge them to start budgeting like real families do--by putting kids first!

    What's happening?

    You're likely hearing a lot about proposed federal budgets in the news lately, and believe me, it can be confusing. That's because the President just released his budget proposal for FY 2012 on Monday. And last week, the House of Representatives unveiled their spending plan for the rest of fiscal year 2011. This proposed House plan for the rest of fiscal year 2011 would:

    Cut prenatal care and nutrition assistance for pregnant women, infants, and children,
    Strip more than a billion dollars from Head Start and child care assistance, leaving an estimated 368,000 children without early learning support, and drastically reduce funding for community health centers.

    These cuts would be devastating for our nation's children who are already struggling in our economic downturn. More than one in five of our nation's children lives in poverty, one in four children is at risk of hunger, and the U.S. recently sunk to 30th place among industrialized nations in a ranking of infant mortality rates.

    Balancing the budget on the backs of our children hurts us all in the long-run.

    Indeed, scientific research and leading economists have said for years that investing in children is one of the smartest investments we can make. Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Laureate economist, has found that the return on investments in early care and education can run from 10-18 percent. As Dr. Heckman said in his letter to the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Reform, "Budget deficits are created by unwise spending. Budget deficits are solved by wiser spending informed by data and decision-making highly attuned to achieving greater value on investments." And among Dr. Heckman's top fiscal recommendations for our current deficit crisis? Investments in and expansion to proven early childhood programs.

    The facts are clear. Proven programs like Head Start save future dollars in education, juvenile and criminal justice system costs and increase the future output and contributions to our nation by the youngest and most vulnerable among us today.

    The House is expected to vote on these cuts by the end of this week and then negotiations will then shift to the Senate. We must tell our members of Congress now that investing in our kids is fiscally sound policy!

    *Don't forget to take a moment now to tell Congress to stop playing politics with our kids: Urge them to stop harmful cuts to proven programs that invest in children and our families' health!

    Please pass this message on to friends and family by forwarding this email now. We must all stand up and demand a better future for our kids!


    P.S. Thanks to First Focus for their help with this message!

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