News Archive 2009-2018

William S. Cohen ’62: ‘Republicans Are Endangering National Security’ (New York Times) Archives

William S. Cohen '62


William S. Cohen ’62, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, writes of the seemingly competing forces at play between keeping a “no tax pledge” and giving troops “the tools they need to protect the nation” in a New York Times opinion piece.

“I have long been concerned that my party’s rigid antitax ideology is harming the fiscal health of our nation,” writes Cohen. “Now it is harming our national security as well, as cuts in defense spending on a calamitous scale are about to be triggered.”

Cohen is chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group, an international business advisory firm.

4 thoughts on “William S. Cohen ’62: ‘Republicans Are Endangering National Security’ (New York Times)

  1. Doug Collins

    With all due respect, Mr. Cohen does not explain, nor does the Democratic Party, why it is reasonable to define a “Balanced Approach” as at least 83% ($1 trillion out of $1.2 trillion)of debt reduction coming from tax increases. The Republican members of the super committee came much closer to a balanced approach by proposing that 42% ($500 billion) of the debt reduction come from tax increases, but this was not acceptable to the Democratic members of the committee or the White House. Why should a problem that has been created largely by an explosion in spending be funded primarily by taxpayers, thus encouraging more spending?

  2. Jeff Sommer

    I presume that Mr. Collins math counts the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts as a tax increase. It should be noted that the Bush Tax cuts were crafted by Republicans with a sunset provision because of their impact on the deficit. What was politically (and fiscally) expedient at the time of passage is now inconvenient. So the Republicans (and Mr. Collins) have moved the goal posts.

    After nearly a decade of “deficits don’t matter”, waging two wars, creating a new unfunded entitlement and passing massive tax cuts without any plan as to the long term consequences (or actually paying for any of it with revenues or off-setting spending cuts), republicans endorse fiscal austerity when the economy plunges into a severe recession.

    That explosion in spending to which Mr. Collins is referring can only partially be atrributed to counter cyclical and stimulus related spending since 2008. A sane analysis of the fiscal situation differentiates from cyclical vs structural deficits.

    The portion of our fiscal imbalance requiring attention is the structural deficit. It is a shame that Mr. Collin’s critique did not carry the day when we embarked upon multi trillion dollar foreign commitments and new entitlements under a Republican congress and president.

  3. Doug Collins

    There is no doubt that decisions made by both the current and prior administrations, as well as economic and other events, have contributed to the current deficits. The key question facing the U.S. and many other governments is how to reduce deficits going forward while at the same time keeping (or getting) the economy growing. Raising taxes to finance further entitlement spending growth, and avoiding serious talk about social security reform, does not seem like a sane answer.


    The Republicans in Congress are not even Republicans. Few would thrive at our college. They endanger the well-being of our people.

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