[Excerpt] The Middle Class Task Force has always been careful to include those who aspire to rise into the middle class as an important target of our efforts. Upward mobility for families who work hard and play by the rules is a fundamental American value, and part of our mandate is to promote such mobility for less-advantaged families.
Of course, how these families fare is in large part dependent on the jobs available to their working members. In this case, the fact that unemployment has been particularly elevated for low-income households means that as usual, the recent recession has been hardest on the least well off.
One program from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that has been particularly effective at reaching these workers is the subsidized jobs program included in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This program is helping tens of thousands of low-income families get back to work in what, even with recent gains, remains a tough job market. It is helping employers by offsetting the costs of hiring. And it is helping communities by putting more money in the pockets of folks who will spend their paychecks, creating ripple or multiplier effects leading to more economic activity and jobs.
In the interest of building on the nascent jobs recovery in progress, extending this program, which sunsets at the end of this September, is an Obama Administration priority. As more states stand up these efficient programs to the benefit of workers, employers, and their communities, we encourage Congress to act quickly and take advantage of the positive momentum behind this subsidized jobs program.