Do we currently have a freeze on government hiring? If not, why not?

An enforced freeze on government hiring is one way to begin chipping away at the size of government without causing undue hardship.  If someone leaves a government job, you  don’t replace that person unless the job is essential — and that essential criteria should be taken seriously and not made elastic.  Of course the problem with government hiring freezes is that they are abused and almost every employee and position is deemed essential.