After hiring freeze – NY hires 51,464

Here is another fine example of government fiscal restraint and responsibility – brought to you by the wonderful state of New York. (story here)

Gov. David Paterson ordered a “hard” hiring freeze in state government nearly two years ago, declaring that only “absolutely essential” positions be filled.

But state officials hired 51,464 people at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 billion in salaries, plus fringe benefits, since that decree on July 30, 2008.

The hires include sons of elected officials, a close friend of the governor’s and a slew of highly paid political appointees.

To be sure, this example was followed by numerous other states as state and local payrolls have swelled to the breaking point in our era of big government. When a “hard” hiring freeze results in the addition of over 51,000 employees in less than 2 years, you have to wonder how big the bloat would have been in the absence of such restraint.

“You must rethink your hiring practices,” Paterson told agency heads April 21, 2008, in a memo. “Only job openings absolutely essential to your agency’s operations and protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers are to be filled. Positions that do not fit this criterion must be left vacant.”

In his State of the State address Jan. 7, 2009 — six months after the hiring freeze took effect — Paterson again warned that New York was in peril.

“We must sacrifice what we want today so that we can pay for what we need tomorrow,” Paterson said.

And, he said, “Now is our moment for leadership.”

That day, the state hired 51 people, including 20 secretaries and executive assistants. The next day: 1,266 people, mostly at public colleges. The day after: 40 people

Yes, “Now is our moment for leadership” – and they certainly did show the way. The way it has always been in NY…

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