FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
"The era of big government is over"... that's what President Bill Clinton told the nation in 1996... before cutting hundreds of thousands of federal government jobs. But guess what? They're back… and then some.
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According to President Obama's proposed budget - the number of federal government employees will grow to nearly $2.15 million this year - the largest federal workforce's in modern history. AND - this doesn't even include postal workers or the more than 7.6 million federal contract workers.
Since the recession began - 200,000 workers have been added to the federal government payrolls. Have they ever heard of layoffs? During the same time, the private sector was downsizing to the tune of about 7 million lost jobs.
With the country looking at a $1.6 trillion deficit just this year - a record - as well as a more than $12 trillion in national debt - also a record - it seems worth asking if this is the right time for more government employees. One expert says it's a matter of time before Republicans, Tea Partiers, etc. go after the president on this issue.
Perhaps it's time for a federal hiring freeze except for jobs related to national security, public safety, etc. That way the workforce would decline through attrition as older federal workers retire.
But that would require political courage.
Here’s my question to you: In light of record deficits, is now the time for one of the largest federal payrolls ever?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Richard from Kankakee, Illinois writes:
No, but it is not the time for companies and corporations to fire the lowest-paid workers in order to give top management million dollar bonuses! But you do not see them stopping their bonus practices… at least some people are getting a good paying job!
Jack, it's not fair to ask this question without telling us what jobs were added. Does this include temporary Census workers? How about FDIC workers? I'll bet their ranks had to grow significantly. How about the Dept. of Justice? … Is giving these people jobs more cost-effective than adding them to the unemployment or welfare rolls? You're slipping Jack, and it's not even Friday.
George from New York writes:
No it isn't. The nation is in a recession. There is a shortage of jobs due to Corporate America's greed. People are losing their homes, going hungry, living on the streets and in their cars, yet government employees go right on like there is nothing wrong!
Public or private sector, if someone in this dismal climate is fortunate in actually having a job, it is greatly cherished ... period. More power to him or her.
Absolutely not! While government is not a business, there are certain business principles that should apply in terms of expenditures. The explosion in federal employees in this time is simply unconscionable and will contribute further to the "mortgage" that we are creating for our children.
Tom from Texas writes:
I've often heard the call for smaller government but more services are demanded by the public. Almost, by definition, as the population increases the government has to grow. There's waste in all businesses. Unfortunately government tends to overstate their personnel needs. Add water and it grows to a robust parasite.
Marc from Virginia writes:
Why do you hate America, Jack? You are constantly attacking federal employees who keep this country moving forward. I would put a hiring freeze on rabble-rousing news commentators.