February 3rd, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Is now the time for one of the largest federal payrolls ever?

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.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/03/art.money.jpg caption=""]
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!

Jeff writes:
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!

Kelli writes:
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.

John writes:
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.

Filed under: Deficit • Economy
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Marc in Virginia

    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.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  2. K

    It is time for our governments to learn to live within a budget just like the rest of us. Just because you want (or your special interest wants) does not equate with need.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  3. Diana

    With all the inflation happening, why focus on someone's payraise? Where were the republicans for the last 8 years. We never heard them complain about the deficit that Bush was creating for the American people over his 8 years in office. In all Bush's dept making years, the Republicans had the nerve to give a tax brake to the richest and nothing to the middle class. Not once did Bush ask how we were going to pay for two wars. His answer probably would have been CHINA! Where were the American people and their voices about Bush's putting this country in so much debt. Did the Republicans ever ask "HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THIS" Obama has to now clean up the mess that the republicans and their president placed the American taxpayer into.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Gail, Plano,Texas

    No, Jack now is not a good time to expand the federal payroll. I am stunned sometimes how the money is thrown around. If things are so tough, how come all this spending? And we the used to be middle class are the ones who count the pennies, and cut the coupons for our groceries. Adding insult to injury, no cost of living increase in SS benefits. Something is very wrong in this country.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  5. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    In our country, more is better. More jobs shipped overseas, more smut on TV, more unemployment, and the list goes on and on so why not have more people to be on a payroll that won't be met within a few years.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  6. joe m

    this is a catch 22. on the one hand the federal government doesn't have the money to pay salaries of an expanded work force, but on the other hand helping people get back to work can't be all that bad. if the president wants to put people back to work then he should be willing to give up other things. its just like the rest of us. when i want something that does not fit my budget i have to make the hard choice of giving up something so i can afford what i want. either that or i dip into my own personal reserves to afford it. so let's go ahead and put people back to work, but to pay for it the president, his party, and the republicans need to give up some thing else, or go into their own personal funds to pay for it.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  7. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    Why not? It's just money, it's not real. It's just a concept and if it's not real just spend,spend,spend,spend until everybody's livin' the life baby!

    February 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  8. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Let's pay them so we could get that future worry out of the way.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  9. Arlene, Illinois

    Jack, your missing the point here, all you do is put in a
    little overtime and start printing some more money, The
    Government is good at that.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  10. Doug, Atlas

    Yes, Jack. All they have to do is keep on printing money. What's the
    big deal?

    February 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  11. Nelson in NC

    Yes, absolutely. All those screaming "balance the budget" are conveniently forgetting hiring many people for such things as public works projects is what got us out of the depression. The rich are doing fine, but are deathly afraid that they will not be able to keep building their fortunes and empires. They were not afraid of budget deficits when Bush was cutting taxes rather than paying for his wars.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  12. Ed-New Jersey


    Of course it's not the right time...the private sector is run more effeciantly than the Federal Gov't...hence...bigger bang for the buck!!

    Just think how many votes Owebama can get out of those employees, their families & friends this November!!

    February 3, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  13. Barney, Jersey Limits

    Give everyone their own personal printing press, Jack. That will surely
    solve the problem.

    Why should we depend on the government to be in charge of money when we are perfectly capable of printing our own.

    They can save that manpower for something else.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  14. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Not hardly, when the President said that most companies were expecting workers to do more, same should apply for federal workers, out of the 2 million federal employees only about half earn their salaries. We should be decreasing the size of the federal work force instead of trying to see how many we can hire.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  15. Stephan Martin

    Simple answer is no,

    With the fragile economy I believe that caping the budget is a better idea. You need to cap deffense as much as government spending to level off the deficit.

    The Government realy needs to concentrate on changing its policies instead of spending. On a day were most Americans purchase more products made outside the USA it is time to promote production at home.

    The throw away model needs to go and cheap products will follow. Americans would be more then willing to purchase a good quality product made in the USA if it meant higher quality and creating American jobs.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  16. Charles from Cleveland Ohio

    Stop hiring government employee'saccording to race & gender &
    eliminate quota systems as hiring practices. This is a big waste of
    tax payers money. Start hiring people of experience and intelect and
    fewer would be needed! Thus, saving billions of dollars.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  17. Linda in Arizona

    In "light of" the need for jobs, why would you want to cut them?

    February 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  18. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    NO NO NO NO! It's time they took a cut in pay like I did. I worked 12 months and got paid for 11. Not only that I had to use up any vacation that I had. Government employees can just suck it up like the rest of us. You want to talk about waste in government, just try to get a government worker to hustle! They won't get fired, they'll more than likely get a raise or promotion for being a slacker.
    ..Jack, didn't you say that the White House had the highest paid and most employeed staff of any administration? Weeding needs to start at the top.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Will from San Jose, CA

    Where would they go? With double digit unemployment, a government layoff would just shift another wave of workers from getting paid by the government to actually do a job, to getting paid to job search as they collect unemployment. As long as employment levels lag behind the economy a larger government workforce has a benefit; however, we need to make sure that reductions happen later as the private sector jobs come back online.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  20. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    With 10% unemployment, I'd have to say absolutely and maybe even hire more.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  21. Homeless D in Atlanta

    Please explain the difference between paying Federal workers and Postal workers to WORK, and paying those same people unemployment if they all got laid off.

    I know, the unemployment benefits would be a LOT less than they are making at work, but now is certainly now the time to dump millions of workers into the unemployment system.

    We are in a Catch-22. And the outcome will be bad, no matter what we do.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  22. Angie

    How many of these jobs reported are connected to the stimulus jobs and budgeting for stimulus jobs?

    Are they the same jobs that have been in existence since 1970's. Or are many of these jobs new jobs with new departments in government from the last 8 years added recently?

    Also wasn't there a time just last year when the Federal government was increasing their hiring in the FBI, CIA and other government departments?

    Was this study that was done just on the increase of people employed without any consideration as to what they were hired for?

    Sounds like a poor study if someone didn't do more of a homework than to just complain about the increase of people hired recently in government for new government jobs hiring people who were unemployed due to the economic failure policies of the past Republican Administration.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  23. Homeless D in Atlanta


    I wish you would go back to the previous time schedule. I HATE missing your last half hour, but I am not missing JEOPARDY for ANYTHING!

    February 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  24. Tina Tx

    I think it is time to fire some of the people who work up in the government offices who probably only due 15 minutes of work daily. Let them go.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  25. riley oday

    What bothers me more than adding employees is the huge waste of funds within depts. I worked in justice dept,and the military. The waste
    of dollars was staggering and almost unexplainable yet no one cared.

    Charleston wv

    February 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  26. Sue From Idaho

    Only if they're working on chain gangs,

    February 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  27. Alan - Charlotte, NC

    Where else can anyone find a job?

    February 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  28. Mike from Denver

    No, it is not the time, but if that is where the jobs are, that is where I will be sending my résumé!

    February 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  29. Steve, Clifton, VA

    A Federal Hiring Freeze is definitely appropriate now, but I must you Jack, why you didn't ask this question when George Bush grew the number of Government employees more than any modern day President and the media just sat there and didn't say a word. Many of the issues you raise are good legitimate issues but they were issues that the media was silent on for eight years when the media was fearful of the Bush administration. How about a little balance and fairness???

    February 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  30. Rory Murray

    HELL NO! They just Don't GET IT! Or at least, they SHOULDN'T Get IT!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    February 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  31. Greg, Ontario

    Of coarse now is the time but people aren't sharp enough to handle that. We went through it in the early 90's and I know how much it hurts. But sometimes you have to suck it up for the good of the country. That was one of the reasons why this last crash did not hit us as hard as it hit you. It's no picknic but cutting back and living within your means really can help get things back on track.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  32. Scott Stodden

    I don't know how to answer that question Jack and you have to forgive but Im also young in politics! In one way I feel that people need jobs we're your working for the Goverment or just a maintenance man at McDonalds but in the same way I also feel that maybe that would solve the problem if we put a hiring freeze on goverment employees for the time being!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  33. mical

    No, actually the opposite. We need to reduce federal spending starting w/ paychecks of the bafoons in both houses. When companies have financial difficulties they usually start with cutting payroll & reducing salaries. So cut 30% of wages of ALL branches of the federal gov't – if they don't like it, their replacement is waiting in the wings.


    February 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  34. Joe CE

    WE can cut the federal payroll by bring home troops stationed abroad that are not needed in places like Japan & Germany. Hoewever, this is not the time for other federal job cuts. We need people topmanage the stmulus and ctutting the federal workforce eliminates jobs, increses unemployment compensation and probable results in a net loss of USincome to the US government when the ripple effect is considered.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  35. Jerry,OK

    Jack, Government should not be allowed to run deficits, so...lets pass a law that congress must balance the budget.

    Jerry Wilson

    February 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  36. Gary Lee

    The federal payroll is the least of the governments problem. If we had all the money the Federal Reserve has stolen and won't account for ,we could pay off the national debt. It's time for Americans to stand up and tell their leaders to dissolve this unconstitutional group of bankers. Congress has shirked their duties by letting the world banks to control the printing of our currency. The dollar is now worth four cents from when the Fed took over. People need to wake up, before it's too late.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  37. Don in Grand Rapids , MI

    It's never time for the Federal government to increase, However with Obama, Reid and Pelosi at the helm we are headed for the cliff!

    February 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  38. Terry C. in Illinois

    Tell the truth, Clinton did reduce government and had a surplus when he left office. Bush and the GOP Congress created most of the federal jobs added due to programs like, Homeland Security Dept. , airport screeners in airports, and a new Medicare prescription plan which was never paid for, just to name a few.
    Furthermore, GOP trashed Obama this week when he proposed stopping NASA until America can afford it.

    More Federal Government jobs were created from 2000-2008 during the Bush years than in recent decades. Why bash Obama? He is not responsible for the GOP mismanagement of taking Americas surplus in 2000 and making it into record deficits (tax cuts to the rich and to companies), or using lies to start a war in Iraq (WMD), or when Bush did bailout #1 for AIG who now give million dollar bonuses to their employees with taxpayer money.

    Government jobs will not reduce because Americans depend on Homeland Security, depend on airport screeners and depend on the Medicare prescription plan along with Social Security and Medicare, IRS and the rest .
    Maybe we should all be Federal workers so our job is not "outsourced" !!!

    February 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  39. Mike in Texas

    Well obviously pay cuts would demonstrate the sincere efforts of spending control. That includes the expense accounts for mailings and travel expense that Congress enjoys. Asking all Federal employees to voluntarily take a temporary pay cut until such time as unemployment in the United States as dropped the average rate for the 5 years prior to 2007. Those that will not take the pay cut will be first on the list to be furloughed regardless of tenure.

    Next we need to ask President Obama to show his willingness to tighten his belt by the use of Teleconferencing from the White House for his meetings with Congress, and Town Hall meetings. The cost of flying Air Force One, and the cargo plane with the limo's etc. is approximately $56,518.00 per HOUR! To that add the extra security payroll and travel expenses and WOW. So President Obama stay in Washington when you can, teleconference, and set an example!

    February 3, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  40. Richard Texas

    Jack I don't think this is an issue of too many government jobs but an issue of too many unnecessary government jobs. Those jobs come at a very high price and include healthcare as well as retirement pay as long as they are employed. When these people leave their employment they get retirement pay too for the rest of their lives along with social security and other perks and privileges.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  41. ron - american living in Copenhagen

    very quick answer - NO NO NO NO - time to get rid of some of those dead beats

    February 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  42. Curtis in Kansas

    Jack – You've got to be kidding me. That's like asking if you should give your teenage son your credit card to go to Game Stop to buy all the video games and game systems he wants even though you have a house full already. Now do you believe the President is a statist?

    February 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  43. Brett Levin

    Adding more government jobs is a fake way for the Democratic contingent to look like they are creating jobs. Government jobs all have to paid through taxes, and government jobs do not produce anything, except more ideas the government can spend. Let's find some real jobs from private companies that ADD money into the economy. And let's stop spending money on those road signs that let me know that the highway was repaved with money used for the American Recovery Act. How much does that all add up to? Include that in CNN's Stimulus Project investigation...

    February 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  44. Gigi Oregon

    Why is it people can not stay focused. We are one year from the Bush Years. We haven't had time to clean up the mess let alone create new jobs. This Payroll is not from job creations of the year 2009. It' a proposal...my family in government jobs are working less hours a week and no raise. I understand our Representatives probably got a great raise. But...it would be nice if these jobs could become reality and the economy could began to improve with more money being spent by the masses. You want Jobs! I don't care where the jobs come from just so it's meaningful work and will produce a family wage. Maybe we should hire more federal watch dogs to watch our Representatives.

    February 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  45. Andrew, Amherst NY

    Jack, don't you think it ironic that people worry about banks becoming "to big to fail", but what about our governments? They make up around 1/3 of our spending and are our largest empolyers, talk about "to big to fail".

    February 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  46. Richard Green


    Bush more than doubled the number of federal emplyees while he was in office, yet cut the number of oversight workers in every department. The VA has been underfunded and understaffed for years. Bush hired "moles" to politicize one area of responsibility after another. People do need to be hired to fill in the shortages in vital areas and to lift the productivity of areas burdened with Bush's "moles". Having said that, we should all get behind a commission to go through departments long neglected and clean house and right the ship of state again. Across the board cuts are the lazy man's way of reducing manpower.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Ca

    February 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  47. Ed from MD

    Sure Jack, It's just like Obama said in his state of the union speech " We have lived as a nation far beyond our means, and the message is, for the foreseable future, that we will be forced to live beneath our means until the debt is paid" But, apparently "we as a nation" means Washington D.C whereas "forced to live beneath our means" means everybody else.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  48. Richard, Kankakee, Illinois

    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, but at least some people are getting a good paying job!

    February 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  49. Joanne B

    There is so much waste in the government, it is unbelievable !
    There are entire depts. that could be eliminated, & federal employees that do "nothing". Take the SEC Porn chasers for example.
    The entire mess in Washington needs to be cleaned out and cleaned up.....oh how I wish we could have a George Washington come back and kick the backsides of these selfish greedy creatures right out the front door in Politics (of course some are trying and we know that).

    February 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  50. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    No Jack,
    This is not the time to raise government spending etc... Lawmakers have to treat the Federal Budget like a business. When the business is not generating profits, you have to cut costs! And when President Clinton said "the era of big government is over", he meant as long as he is president. One can't predict what future administrations and the U.S economy are going to do.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  51. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    We are totally delusional if we think Congress cares about what is best for our country, and such a large federal payroll just proves my point.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  52. Susan Frost

    In light of the current unemployment rates, I'd say we need to be adding more federal jobs, not putting more workers out on the street. Are you and the other talking heads at CNN, who get paid a bundle for doing stuff that's basically unneccessary, aware that federal employees pay taxes, buy homes, shop for clothes and groceries, etc. – all of which is money that goes back into the economy? Get in touch with reality.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    February 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  53. B

    Jack, I believe that every state should have 1 congressman and 1 senator. Half of these people when you see them on T.V. look dead or asleep. I mean really! We need to get rid of some of these people but the greed runs long and deep. I guess at least government employees will have jobs. It's kinda like Hooray for them and screw everyone else.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  54. Loren, Chicago

    No, but that doesn't mean anyone's going to agree to a federal hiring freeze. Despite what we'd like to think, the federal government has patronage and the hiring reflects the reward to the Democratic Party for its victory in the Presidential election. Just another bit of the old Chicago-style shell game that the White House has been practicing since President Obama took office. Don't say you weren't warned. (read the Rolling Stone article on President Obama's financial advisers, a bunch of pirates if there ever were, and from a man promising reform. Ha!)

    February 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  55. Gary H. Boyd

    Here's the answer Jack. Cut all government job salaries by 25% and watch 'em run for the exits. That would reduce the size of government overnight. But, to get some of the clowns in the House and Senate to pack up the cut would have to be at least 75%.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  56. Tami from Texas

    Well, since John Deere isn't hiring I guess they are taking Senator Chuck Grassley's advice which is, if you want a health care plan as good as his, get a job with the government.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  57. Anna in Itasca, Ill

    We could outsource our government to India and China. Then we will have bigger unemployment and rich people do not want to pay higher tax so it would not help to bring the deficit any way.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  58. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Jack, Jack, Jack......... are you complaining that the Federal Government is hiring???! Jobs are needed.

    Here's an idea, Jack, pass Healthcare and SAVE BILLIONS!

    February 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  59. gerry luimes

    I don't care whether it is going to be the Reps,the tea party smarties,or any one else for that matter,to take over this present government-NOBODY can,by any means,possibly right the current economic and fiscal impasse because: 1: the country has lost its bearings. .2:technically it is practically broke although it is conveniently being hushed up.3:CEO's can keep rewarding themselves with multi million dollar bonuses for their failures without fearing for a national revolt.4: Nothing will be accomplished facing a dysfunctional congress.Obama-bless his soul- appears to be doomed.So will be his successor,sorry to say.Time to start praying.....
    Gerry at Edmonton.can.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  60. William Courtland

    What public control?

    Federal payroll, not including the States or the Municipalities...

    Government employees... Replace them with a computer. Redesign the USPS to much assist these federal jobs: this cuts those jobs from the Federal cost structure yet changes those employed from Federal to commercial in trust with those new USPS media routes.

    State, Municiple, and Fed then become more united in communication and stop overlapping services.

    While you might have to many employees you do not have enough representatives to be heard complaining about it. Yet Members of the legislative branch of Congress should not be counted as a Federal Employee: they are public representatives of the public trust: and not employed they just hold membership and are re-imbursed for duties served.

    Use the Constitution as a Colander Strainer: and cut what doesn't belong or reduce the service down to the State level so that the Taxation is State raised. The Fed can only tax to enforce and uphold the Constitution as it is written: the rest is State business, and income tax should not exist accept by a force of the States and have nothing to do with the Fed. Taxation with representation: it seems these services are not provided with Federal Tax dollars: but are just fiat promises not truly part of a greater loan.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  61. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    There are no other jobs left.

    Nearly every job that can be done by telecommunications has been outsourced to foreign countries where the labor costs are so low, they approach 'slave wages' here.

    Besides that, they haven't counted all of those of us who are unemployed or have chosen to take early retirement because the Social Security pays better than stocking shelves at WalMart or flipping burgers at McDonald's.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  62. santa clause

    only if it puts 250,000 people to work nation wide and the purpose was for solar farms and wind farms

    February 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  63. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    After trying to navigate through the maze of impossibility that dealing with the government brings, we definitely need to stop hiring and get rid of the dead weight in certain sectors. Government workers tend to feel they are better than the private sector, can treat people with all the disdain they want, and want a lifetime pension to boot for a weaker work ethic. Wow...sounds like the union mentality virus has taken over their mindset!!

    February 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  64. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    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.


    cannot answer an incomplete question! Need specifics! The increase number of jobs in government is from which fields!

    February 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  65. Phil, georgia

    This is what Democrats need, for President Obama to go on offense and call Republicans on all their bluffs. We have been playin defense for too long and need to point out the ways in which Republicans just refuse to govern. They are Hypocrites on almost everything, they say what they want to do but when the public turns its head, they are playin swith-aroo.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  66. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Let me state, I do not, never have, and will never believe in layoffs as they are no more than a lack of imagination and a product of mismanagement and greed.

    If a person commits to an organization, then the organization must commit to the person. There are processes and systems like six sigma and lean that will create efficiencies for any employee to remain working. Increase savings and increase revenue if you have the employees to develop the imagination needed to accomplish this.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  67. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Look what happens every time the Congress attempts to close a military base or terminate a needless and costly weapons system?

    The 'tea partiers' are equally as complicit in their 'earmarks' to keep even more of us employed in ersatz-government work, too, at Boeing, Lockheed-Northrop, Raytheon, Martin-Marietta Mitre,.......

    February 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  68. Nicholas Weber

    I'd be interested to see what type of work these 200,000 workers are doing? I'd be even more interested to find out how many of them are working to fix our energy crisis.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  69. Ed in CO

    How about a 10% or 20% across the board pay cut for all federal workers?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  70. Terry

    Absolutely not. And we should start the freeze on congressional perks. You know, those folks that took their automatic annual raises while not allowing an increase in social security.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  71. Kim, Nebraska

    People who work in government buy stuff and pay taxes too. How can that be a bad thing?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  72. John

    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.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  73. Kelli Medaglia

    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.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  74. Stirling

    I don't know if enlarging the federal workforce is the answer but it certainly beats the alternative of adding more to the unemployment rolls. The federal government is the only employer large enough to stimulate enough spending to keep the economy from completely tanking.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  75. Khalil in Milwaukee

    Of course it is Jack. That was exactly the kind of action we were expecting the government take this time last year in midst of private sector layoffs. Those are 200,000 more American's with jobs that would likely have otherwise had none.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  76. Barbara R. Kelley

    What's the matter with you, Jack? Don't you like our "white men on welfare" goverenment work program????

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  77. dm

    A good start to decrease the federal payroll would be to stop that fat life-time check ex congressmen get and stop all the bonuses given to government employee. Maybe then you won't have to fire any employee with their fat checks

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  78. Jatovi

    If the they are the only ones hiring, then I will be applying.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  79. Brandon, OH

    Would these new federal jobs open up opportunity to those who are currently unemployed? I suppose that even if a significant amount of the current unemployed were to obtain a job and "lower" the unemployment rate by working with the federal government it wouldn't fix much that's for sure. I suppose at least then those people would be taking "federal dollars" and putting them into the private sector as they pay bills or buy products.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  80. ruth snyder, montoursville PA

    YES! Why would you want more job cutbacks? If government people lose their jobs, they will be competing for jobs with all those non-government people who have already lost their jobs.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  81. artbookie

    if not now, when? until the economy recovers, 10% unemployment rate is the perfect reason to make government bigger. consider it TARP for the little guy. we can worry about streamlining later...

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  82. Dwight Osborne

    I don't wish anyone to lose their job, but the federal government needs to scale back their employees relative to the loss of jobs in the private sector. Everyone needs to find ways to lower our national debt and deficit.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  83. Ed in CO

    Federal workers are paid an average of over $70,000 a year while non-government workers average in the mid $40s according to a new article that ran in the past week. Federal workers are due for some down sizing of their own – at minimum pay cuts.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  84. Emily

    Well I think you also need to take into consideration the record unemployment rate– I think it's better to employ people than to give handouts. Instead of unemployment benefits I think it's better to give someone a job, if only temporary until our economy recovers.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  85. Keith

    Where did these jobs come from. How much has the growth of jobs been in this year and the next budget and how much was in the 8 years before that (Bush). What departments were the growth in? Feels like this question is particularly leading without much background.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  86. Joe (Virginia)

    How is this a problem when we're pushing 10% unemployment? How could the federal government cast jobs as being its number one priority while simultaneously cutting its workforce? Do tea partiers think that these federal hires will sit on their salaries and that this money won't make it back into the economy? This is a ridiculous question in this economic climate. Let's deal with the real problems in our country before worrying about the made-up ones.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  87. Laura Novak

    I don't know when would be a better time. Are you aware of how many people are unemployed, have run out their unemployment benefits and/ or are losing their home? You want the federal government to lay-off or impose a hiring freeze? Where are your priorities? You understand that every person unemployed is not paying income tax and is using unemployment benefits, subsidized COBRA, food stamps, etc? What does that do to the deficit? I can't think of a more wrong headed question.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  88. Stewart


    Most of those new federal jobs are in the Treasury Department, especially the IRS.

    The government is hurting for money and is getting a workforce in place so it will be able to squeeze what ever juice in left out of the middle class.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  89. Tumi

    Technically no, but maybe yes.
    But I have a question, does this include military personnel. If so, we have the largest military force ever, so doesn't that have an effect on that number?

    Also, with high unemployment and the government trying to rally companies to start hiring, how would it look of they laid people off? Especially with the billions of dollars in bail outs that they have given, I dont think they would be able to justify layoffs.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  90. John

    I work for the federal government in D.C. I am over paid, my co-workers are overpaid and the office overspends in order to not lose its budget. There are 40 people doing the job of 10 competent workers. I don't want to lose my job, but every day I feel guilty that this is what my family's tax money is going towards. If anyone in the private sector looked at our business practice, we would be closed.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  91. Doris Lauter

    The President is trying to create jobs wherever he can.
    Are you saying that the government should start laying off people just like the big businesses and small businesses are doing?
    Ojai, California

    February 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  92. Kat

    Are you crazy! government Hiring freeze with all these people out of work would be the worst possible thing we could do to the reccovering economy! We need all the jobs we can get. Pave the roads, teach the kids, provide healthcare ! We need to drive this economy, not stiffle it.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  93. Steve Anton

    Steve from St Louis, MO
    If you look at the statistics, the federal government is about the only decent paying industry that has had massive hirings since the inception of the recession. This is not right. While the private sector is going through furloughs, lay offs, pay cuts and increasing the hours worked for the same pay, the federal government continues to weave it's ugly webb in spite of the misery in the "real" world. I guess what is good for the goose in this case isn't good for the "gander"!

    February 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  94. Rob

    Given that a large amount of people in the federal workforce will be retiring in the next 10 years, this is the time to create institutional knowledge, enact succession strategies, and build a young workforce to be able to do the bidding of the nation in 2020 and beyond.

    Once a retiree goes out the door, you lose all of the institutional knowledge. Grow the institutional knowledge while we still have a workforce to do it.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  95. Kashirojin

    While one of the last things we need right now is more government spending, Americans need jobs. A government hiring freeze should be postponed until after we start to finally see job-loss bottom out.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  96. Deane from California

    No, this is not the time to add more federal employees. Government is there to serve the people not create more deficits. I can see where President Obama is trying to get everyone back to work but not on the shoulders and backs of the American taxpayer. That's welfare and no one wants to continually support the welfare participants!!

    February 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  97. Susan

    Well, as a small business owner in NJ, something has to jump start this economy...so somebody starts hiring, because it's dead out there right now.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  98. Louis P Mansur

    Dear Mr. Cafferty
    No matter what Obama does, good or bad, he his wrong! What is the difference? Is it better to give the money to AIG to boost their bonuses?Is Federal money paid to their employees not spendable? Would it not help the economy?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  99. Mike Wolfington

    Government has become our only growth industry, and Federal growth is just part of the problem. Blooted and unmanaged state governments will be the next and biggest monster to feed on the taxpayer. They will want Obama to bail them out for padding his employment numbers.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  100. lou baldassari

    Yes, but only if my son or daughter needs a job.

    ou baldassari
    Fairfax Station, Virginia

    February 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  101. Bob

    Government employment is more of a jobs and welfare program than a real requirement to operate effectively and efficiently. I have a small business and had to cut payroll by 50% to survive in this business environment. We will now being paying more taxes to pay for these mostly unnecessary jobs. Pretty soon everyone will be working for the government with most of them printing money.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  102. F Perkins (Toronto, Canada)

    Leadership by example. How can the government lay off workers at the same time that it is asking/encouraging the private sector to hire? I think it is the natural and right thing to do. When the private sector sheds jobs, the public sector steps in to absorb those the impact.
    When the private sector was booming, the government shed a lot of jobs. People actually left government jobs to go into the private sector.
    Its a cyclical thing.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  103. Leroy

    Jack, I love the Caffert Files but that question (or rather disguised answer) you posed is ridiculously biased! It's easy for you, Wolf, and I to answer no to your question but for the seven million people that have been laid off by the private sector i'm sure they'd VEHEMENTLY disagree with you!!!

    February 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  104. Richard


    Let's see if i've got this right. With millions of people already out of work, you think it is a good idea that the government, the only entity that is still hiring, should not hire anymore people. Great idea. We don't need no stinking jobs.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  105. John in Denver

    Here's an idea. All federal employees work for minimum wage. If it is good enough for "the people" it should be good enough for those working for US.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  106. lou baldassari

    Yes, but only if my son or daughter needs a job.

    lou baldassari
    Fairfax Station, Virginia

    February 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  107. Ben

    How much do these new jobs contribute to the record deficit? I understand that the private sector is cutting back, but I have a hard time getting upset over the government creating 200,000 new jobs. We need jobs. We need more information to make an informed decision here. What does it cost us with the new jobs? What does it cost without the new jobs?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  108. StopWatch

    Yes Jack it is. There will be a lot of attrition over the next couple of years as baby boomers retire at greater rates; their replacements need training so our government can continue to provide the quality services we are accustom. The government system of doing business, business of any kind is extremely complicated. It takes years to learn how to navigate through all the bull in order to become unproductive and incompetent.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  109. Doug H

    The obvious answer Jack is no. But I would like you to take a deeper look for us. Break down these 200,000 new jobs; union vs non-union, what departments, salary ranges, when were they added. Let's post these on the internet like earmarks so we can decide on our own what's appropriate. And maybe those who are looking for employment may have a new ideas for their job search.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  110. Agnes

    Dear Mr Jack,
    Should the government hire more people under its payroll? No! The government has been expanding at a steady pace for the last 50 years. In 1950 total government spending was a little over 23% of GDP. Today it's 45%. When is this going to stop? The government officials like to bash big businesses but what they are not telling us is that they themselves are the biggest business in this country and very poorly run may I say.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  111. Gerald Primm

    It all depends on what's being required of the various federal agencies at this time. If IRS needs more employees to assure complete and accurate collection of taxes, if SSA is having more people file apps for social security benefits, if FAA needs more trained controllers to assure safety of the crowded sky, etc., then perhaps the number of federal employees is justified and needed. More information would be required to make a sensible statement on the number of federal employees. What we don't need is knee jerk reactions that will reduce or eliminate services being asked of federal agencies, less safety in our skies, of our food, etc.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  112. rin

    As a federal goverment worker... i am appauld by your question. The main areas where there is an increase in hiring is for homeland and intelligence sectors. I say if you cant beat them join them.. thats the problem with america..... get your education and find a good fed. goverment job. Need to say i am 26 with bachelors degree with a good fed. job.... and before the republicans get on Obama..... he drastically decreased the annual cost of living for federal employees..must say Bush gave us a good annual raise. maybe i should be mad with obama about that but i am not! atleast i know i have a stable job.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  113. Mike

    I work for the postal service and we have reacted to the recession. We have reduced our expenses last year by 3 billion. Compliment has been reduced by attrition excessing and early retirement incentatives. The only hiring being done is with temporary transititional employees. The postal service has presented five day delivery to the Congress which would largely narrow our deficit. The Postal Service is making strides in operating in a more efficient manner.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  114. Rick Jenkins

    Of course now is not the time for the USG to continue to hire. A hiring freeze would be the politically correct thing to do. However it's the USG that I'm looking to to hire me as my current employer is paring down and I don't expect to have a job with them this time next year. After working 25 years in the defense industry working on the other side of the desk for the USG looks like an easy stressless way to coast into retirement.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  115. Elston

    I'm glad for the question as today I was just thinking the federal government should create jobs and minimize federal contractors. The tradeoff is advantageous to the government when you consider the amount of money paid to the prime contractor. The reality is that the person executing the work is paid in the range of 70% of what the contractor is actually charging the government. Thank you for the opportunity to chime in. Elston

    February 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  116. John from Georgia

    Well Jack, Security is what has this whole country afriad of. Who's going to do it if the government doesn't pay for it. Let's look at the 200,000 military members those are government tax payers jobs–now what's the question.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  117. Glen of Los Angeles


    I got no problem with 2.15 million Americans in good jobs keeping Americans safe, keeping our parks maintained, and assisting in providing Social Security benefits to our elderly. If you're concerned that too many people are employed in this country, I'd recommend shutting down some McDonalds and eliminating the dead-end jobs of people keeping Americans fat and sick.


    February 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  118. 30yr DoD Employee

    What you talking heads never mention is the role of both parties in the expansion of the federal workforce. Since I started with the DoD in 1980, the level of congressional mandated oversight into every aspect of my job has expanded to account for nearly half of my hourly cost. Congress has never met a report or regulation it doesn't like. Cutting the federal workforce or employing a freeze simply transfers money to the contractor workforce or jeopardizes the execution of programs. If you want to reduce the real size of the federal workforce you must eliminate thousands of laws congress has written to micro-manage us and all other sectors of the economy. Federal employees simply execute the laws passed by congress.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  119. Ken

    The deficit aside, the most important issue with the economy is lack of jobs. I think people should stop worrying so much about big government and be cocerned about job growth, no matter what the source.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  120. dennis

    If the the federal government were not employing people at the highest rate of all time the employment rate would be 15% or more
    The government is the only alternative to support a deep deep recssion


    February 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  121. randall scott

    The democrats are tearing the constitution to shreds. There is a reason why the founders had 3 independent

    February 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  122. Steve

    I think before we are too critical of the current administration, we ought to determine the number of jobs that were "outsourced" over the last 8 years by previous administrations.

    With all the horror stories concerning the lack of oversight, unaccountability, and chronic overbilling by government contractors...maybe having people employeed directly by the Federal government isn't such a bad thing.

    The size of government isn't limited to the number of people on the Federal payroll.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  123. Joan

    We have unbearably high unemployment and finding a job is like finding a needle in a haystack. Oh, and we have a record deficit which implies a decreased tax base for budget revenue. I am glad the government is hiring; most businesses are not. So yeah, a rant about too many government workers is a shovel-ready idea whose time has come. Of course, lay off more people; freeze more hiring and let's pick up that shovel and dig ourselves deeper into the economic hole. God Bless those people who have jobs, leave them alone and anyone else who can get a government job.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  124. Sam Wooten

    History has indicated that one way out of recession or depression is that government hire people. Obama should decrease unemployment levels by simply filling positions in federal government and not outsource any more jobs out of the country.

    We need to take care of our healthcare industry but If we wish to improve our healthcare – we need to pinpoint areasor processes in the health industry that contribute to higher costs (i.e. organizations with no authority but have influence over healthcare standards such that hospitals and physicians have to accommodate more processes and increase indirectly healthcare costs).

    February 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  125. Kathleen Skerrett


    For far too long the FDA and EPA have been understaffed. They were not able to do the job of protecting the public. Do you want another peanut butter scare? And who is going to make sure companies obey stricter controls on pollution to help us all live on this one planet? The government needs to be bigger in certain areas. Homeland security is another. I am not opposed to government jobs. If people did not work, we would be having to support them with our taxes through welfare. Which is better? Didn't FDR create government jobs to help the economy back then too? In the long run, all will benefit because government workers pay taxes too, but unemployed workers don't.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  126. Pam

    I think all in Washington should be fired...including lobbyist. that would save alot of money. no raises for them till Americans get to work.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  127. Dianne, Atlanta

    How many staffers do our politicians need? If they have to hire more employees this tells me they are incompetent doing there jobs. But we already knew that considering the mess we are in.
    The only places that need more employees are USDA inspectors, Consumer Products, etc..where they are looking out for the interests of the people. Aren't you tired of the recalls, e-coli, and salmonella?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  128. Connie

    If not now..........when? The government is filling many jobs with out of work people who would be collecting unemployment for no work. This way these citizens can work and earn money and the tax paper is spared the expense of giving money for nothing. The goverment can downsize after the economy improves. ....... bit by bit.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  129. Chris

    If I understand your leading question correctly, you have a problem with a couple of hundred thousand jobs being created, because they happen to be government jobs? Power to whoever creates jobs, regardless of sector. If taxes aren't going up for most people, then what exactly is your problem with this? Look around. The infrastructure of this country is in rough shape. Maybe more government jobs can fix that too.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  130. Greg M

    As a lot of America's work force is reaching retirement age, it is important that the government work force be replenished. Adding jobs that did not exist 10 years ago to this work force, however, speaks to the inefficiency of the government agency and employee. In these economic times, it is good to know that some one might find a job; even if it means working in a job where hard work and accomplishment is not respected by the fellow workers, because it makes the existing government employee look bad. In addition, it is imperative that all government employees who, as I understand, seldom face the fear of losing their job for lack of performance or for action or activity that would surely lose them a job in the private sector now should have their pay cut or at least a portion deferred for at least three years. In light of those in America that are suffering without a job, the government employee whose pay results from private sector employees taxes; should be GLAD to defer or endure a temporary pay cut for the good of the nation.

    Greg M
    North Carolina

    February 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  131. Dave Eikelberg

    You do not understand the federal work force at all. You cannot reduce the work force through attrition until you disassemble a large part of the vast Rules, Orders, Laws, and Regulations that cause the need for so many people to administrate them.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  132. Mark

    Yes. Keeping people employed is as important as our national security. Of course nobody ever questions the huge dollars that our defense budget consumes.

    These employees at least have healthcare and keep the little bit of our decimated economy (courtesy of the Bush administration) running.

    Just as FDR did in the great depression, Obama is going to have to spend the next 10 years cleaning up the republican's mess and putting this country back to work one way or another.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  133. Sam

    Hi Jack, Your question is misleading and you refuse to understand that when you throw the key of success overboard, you also need to dive deep in order to get the key to fix the mess that had been made by the previous administration. While Obama administration is diving deep to fetch the key, you and your likes are busy deficit, please allow the man to swim to the surface.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  134. Tim

    Postal Workers are indeed considered Government Workers, but keep in mind that the Postal Service DOES NOT get its funding from tax payers. We are not included in the federal budget. We get our money from the sale of postage only. Therefore the income tax that Postal workers pay, goes to help the deficit, like private workers.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  135. Clint from Tulsa

    If those 200,000 people are doing something useful for America, I would say that that is a damn good use of the super rich's tax money! Federal jobs still count as job creation. I have been laid off by a big private sector company; going to work for the government doesn't sound like a bad idea at all.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  136. Todd Iwanylo

    Hello Jack,

    I believe federal jobs are a fantastic idea. I do not have a federal job, but I believe I would apply in the future. As far as the economy goes creating federal jobs is more effective than handing over billions of dollars to wothless banks who give 100 million in bounuses to 20 people. At least with Federal jobs our money is being put back into our economy.

    Why doesn't the government just give each legal citizen 1 million dollars to boost the econmy instead of giving all our money to the banks. We paid BILLIONS to bail them out. Seems to me the governments saves us taxpayers 1.5 billion if they just did that. What family wouldn't be ok if each member of their family had a million dollars. It is our money and when we need it, we are told we cannot have it. Why can't we decide how to spend our own money. Again, The government would still save 1.5 billion if the did this.

    What wonderful choices our government doesn't make.

    Thanks Jack your awesome!


    February 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  137. debbie

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,
    I am a RN at a Veterans Hospital and we do have a hiring freeze currently in effect. I am sure that will make the tax payers that feel that the budget needs to be curtailed.
    You are not the first to ask this question, just the other day a CEO was complaining that he was upset that the goverment was paying workers too much.
    Why would he or you be upset that people in this economy would get a decent paying job with health care. I am not beguiled by the CEO of course he doesn't want to look like he is being unethical by not paying his employees what they deserve or paying for health care.
    With the economy so down right now people making more money can spend it. If people are out of work we will pay for goverment assistance.
    So goverment jobs give people work that needs to be done while giving humans a positive way of obtaining money to feed their familes and provide them health care.
    On the same theme I am working for the government which I bet we give better care than any non-social medicine

    February 3, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  138. Doug H

    What happened to the focus on the waste and fraud in medicare and medicade? This is an issue that can be addressed now outside of healthcare reform. It can make a real difference and lay down a foundation for future cooperation. This is our money and it's not working for us. If the parties can't find common ground here, can they ever?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  139. Winona

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!! Now is the time to create jobs. Anyone who understands anything about economics knows that getting people back to work gets them off of welfare and unemployment. In addition they now pay taxes and in addition they now spend every penny they make purchasing, which in turn creates more jobs. WE NEED TRICKLE UP ECONOMICS, NOT TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. Obama understands this. Get the people working and the rest will take care of itself. We can worry about cutting government jobs after we have better employment figures.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  140. Terry

    Laying off government jobs? Why not? Yes, they spend their paychecks, but don't forget that the federal government produces nothing. And we pay large bucks for that nothing. Private companies at least produce something (not counting law firms here).

    February 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  141. Ernest Browning

    It is sad to say that there has not been one congressional staff reduction throughout the recession, and there has there been one reduction in pay for congressional representatives or senators while the rest of the country has had to downsize. It seems we need to see some effort out of our representatives.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  142. Guy from Hawaii

    Go ahead create the largest federal payroll ever! It is just another step towards an inevitable revolution. That revolution will not be a violent one (sorry all you gun toting NRA activists those AK 47's will just have to be used on the ferocious rabbits and man eating deer) but will be one where the people just won't show up. Guaranteed more folks are thinking about the Colts and Saints this week than the fact our country is in a meltdown. However, the situation in this country is 100 times worse than when we decided to fight the British for our Freedom. We are less free than ever...imprisoned by our grid-locked infighting government and politicians, the taxes levied on us and by our own ignorance to buy into it. Sell your stock in the current America and don't put another dime in until you see a system and a new America worth investing in. I'll let you figure out what that means!

    February 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  143. Sally

    Jack, you are becoming too critical of the President. Lots of people are unemployed and Federal Government is trying as much as they could to help people have something doing. What do you want the President do ? You know what ! I suggest you vacate you job for one of the federal workers to save money for the country.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  144. Lefran L

    What sense would it make to dump thousands or even hundreds of thousands of trained, government experienced workers on an already flooded labor market? Does it make sense to trade deficit for unemployment? It's not like we'd lower taxes because of it. We'd just borrow less. That seems like the opposite of stimulus. What am I missing?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  145. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    Bush is the one who started this hiring contractors at exhorbitant cost to the taxpayers. Security personnel, cooks, electricians, ect. all being paid six figures is the crime of the century. Bush's citizenship should be revoked along with his fat lifelong pension. Government jobs must be trimmed or there won't be a country to govern!

    February 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  146. Donovan in Las Vegas

    If we want to save money, we need to end all wars immediately. The great way to increase GDP is by increasing discretionary spending. This can be done by figuring out a way to cut everybody's utilities and energy expenses. We need to focus all resources on creating new energy sources that we can sell to the rest of the world. Bill Gates made a fortune by selling something that everyone needed..

    February 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  147. randall scott

    The democrats are tearing the constitution to shreds. There is a reason why the founders had 3 independent and separate levels of government and the president is going around part of congress I live according to the constitution and the bible that is how the founding fathers wanted it they would roll over in their graves

    February 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  148. J Holman

    One of the most fascinating aspects of the federal government is there seemingly unparalleled need to grow. The government would function so much better if the pie was just simply re-cut and instead of creating someone/agency/cabinet post to take the blame, just do the job their title covers:Defense should handle Homeland Security and Veteran Affairs; Treasury should handle Commerce; Interior should handle Agriculture, Education,Energy, Housing and Urban Development,and Health and Human Services We create a post and suddenly there's this huge support system that has to come into play for no other reason than to spread responsibility and blame. How about just once do the right thing.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  149. Billy

    Somebody needs to hire, businesses aren't. That would be a real stimulus.

    February 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  150. Carmel in Columbia, SC

    We need to qualify the question: is the increase in federal payroll, a short term or permanent position? Because as a temporary fix, increasing federal payroll, even if these positions are either contractual or temp positions, would help.

    Has someone done any cost benefit analysis on increasing federal employment to see if this should be a short term or permanent fix? Why can't federal government help with unemployment and, if there is not enough people with sufficient skills, why is on the job training not an option? Why are we so ready to help everybody in the world but not ourselves? In fact, why are we so ready to hand out more bail out money to fat cats in wall street, no matter how underserved, than hand out some real help to those of us in main street?

    Next – has anyone ever looked at nationalities of 'recruiters'? I can't even understand their english. This should be another question for Wolf to look into or Cafferty to explore... where are the american recruiters?

    February 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  151. Ron McMillan

    Yes. Employed people pay taxes, buy cars, homes, etc. Unemployed people collect welfere, unemployment, food stamps, etc. Either way the taxpayer pays so lets have more taxpayers

    February 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  152. Chris

    A year ago there was pressure for the Federal government to reduce the number of contractors, and hire back the skilled workers they had outsourced to private industry. Now that they've started doing that, you're getting upset? (Oh, and about 141,000 of those workers are temporary, and only employed for the census.)

    February 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm |