Gary Cohn’s Exit Won’t Make This Administration Any Better

Mar 06, 2018 · 251 comments
elmueador (Boston)
Whatever comes now, Goldman-Sachs' low volatility problems are over. I am unsure Mr. Cohn leaves because he's frustrated - as a man of decent intellect, he's certainly had morning sickness ever since he started working for the Orange One - he leaves because he has accomplished most of his immeditate goals. The 1.5 T$ in debt for nothing will be co-financed by Goldman-Sachs and the set-up for volatility is good for the next couple of years. Infrastructure financed by GS will take some more time, that will come under the next Democratic administration. Well done, Mr. Cohn, although once the gag reflex was tamed, the rest was quite easy, wasn't it?
Kathryn (Holbrook NY)
"Assailted" you say. No, way, way worse. They need to now throw "the baby' out with the bath water.
Howard kaplan (NYC)
Maybe Goldman Sachs will stop sending their golden boys to work in the White House. This has been going on at least since Bill Clinton. And maybe we need a country that is not ruled by an oligarchy and fronted by a madman .
Bill Helm (Camp Hill, PA)
I'm sure the editors spent a moderate amount of time composing this editorial. I suggest you save time for yourselves and your readers by having the same editorial every day. You need only one short sentence: "We hate Trump!" I have some thoughts particular to this editorial. "Now, [Cohn] is leaving after failing repeatedly to be the stabilizing influence that the Trump adminis- traction sorely needed." You seem to completely forget who the boss is (Trump) and who the employee is (Cohn). Do you think that all of your brilliant editors, working together, could possibly convince this president to change his mind on anything? And then you suggest Cohn displayed moral poverty by refusing to quit (after Trump's comments about the neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville, VA last year). It seems you want him both to stay and to go. And then..."his failure to keep President Trump from imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports..." Please read again paragraph one above. Who is the boss, and who is the employee?
David (Middle America)
Boss - the American citizens Employee- those elected by American voters ( in this case with a little help from their friends in the Kremlin).
Oh! You forgot to mention nepotism (Javanka!), corruption (Trumps self-dealing!), and breaking the law (dear Kelly-Anne!). It just rounds up "perfection"!!!
Djt (Dc)
Mr Cohn would do well to publicly expound on the madness of the White House and put this country over loyalty. He has more credibility than most. Not sure about the courage. Pity he probably won't.
bruce egert (hackensack nj)
For a US president to go off half-cocked and make a major economic decision with no 'process', consultation or the slightest attempt at building a coalition is about the dumbest thing one can do. I'd like to think that that is why Cohn quit. Placing these tariffs just to make Trump feel emboldened by his executive power will harm far more American workers than help a steel and aluminum business which is not as bad as they think.
Tuvw Xyz (Evanston, Illinois)
Four phenomena have so far characterized the current Administration: 1. The disgracefully rude language of Trump; 2. His inability to resolve the major troubles in the world, despite his promises; 3. Great musical chairs in the high-level positions, attesting to Trump's poor qualities of management; 4. The stock-market rally. Does the 4th outweigh the preceding three?
Casual Observerp (Los Angeles)
Anyone who thinks that the Democrats are going to seek support from the majority in the middle is not paying attention. The Democrats are going stick with the exclusivity strategy where by they insist that voters accept the narrow preferences of the groups which form the core constituencies of the self proclaimed, “progressives”, of the Party. They will expect that a majority of voters will vote Democratic in response to Trump. They will ignore the voters that make up the majority in the center, then whine about something or other that distracts from their arrogant attitudes—more or less like the Republicans.
Rebecca Sroge (NYC)
Re: "...after neo-Nazis and white supremacists clashed with protesters, leaving a young woman dead, in Charlottesville, Va." That's not what happened. You should have written the truth, which is, "...after a neo-Nazi/white supremacist murdered a young woman in Charlottesville, VA". Its an important distinction. Heather Heyer was murdered, not some sort of collateral damage.
April (NY, NY)
With all due respect to the Editorial Board of the New York Times, Donald Trump, the Republicans in Congress and this administration has already done harm to the American people in ways and deeds that cannot be overlooked because a few government agencies still send out checks. The State Department is decimated. The EPA is in free fall. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are at risk. The earning capacity and tax increases due to hit the working and middle classes will remain in effect and harm people's choices and abilities to take care of their families. Our mass media and free press are neither free nor informed. Russian bots have taken over social media and promote fake news. Our Democracy is at risk of being overcome with fascism and bigotry. Our kids are killed at school shootings and our government refuse to do anything. We have lost our international prestige and it is not coming back. What will happen to our economy if the Europeans, Asians and others stop buying our bonds and investing in our country? We will be stuck in a financial crisis worse than that of 2008. Trump and his ilk have done us major harm and they are not done yet.
Robert Flanders (Dallas)
At last, we are seeing how the country runs without an actual president in the White House. Sad.
Deirdre (New Jersey )
Donald Trump may be the President of the US but he certainly is doing nothing to protect US interests or its people. These decisions he makes on tariffs, and security favor other nations - you have to think he is the Manchurian candidate because he rules like he hates us.
Al Bradley (Rochester, NY)
We like to tout the American system on government as the best in history. This administration has laid bare a huge flaw. One ignorant, uninformed, belligerent, vindictive narcissist can make stupid unilateral decisions that will affect millions. This statement can be applied to virtually anything this buffoon has touched.
JB (Mo)
And as long as checks and balances are in the hand of republicans, nothing will change!
Kip Leitner (Philadelphia)
Now that Cohn has given the rich their future windfall, he's done. He doesn't care about the economy of the United States, only corporate profits. Same with Ajit Pai as chari of FCC. He doesn't care about the television/internet/cell phone infrastructure of the nation, he care's about giving giant telecom companies ways to privatize the internet and eliminate small competition so they can be monopolies -- just like the banks. Trump's folks want to reduce the safety net and advance corporate profits at the expense of social good. Everything else is peanuts. This administration is not interested in expertise in making government work, only looking to how they can reduce government oversight so that favored industries can exempt themselves from sane regulations and make ever greater profits at the expense of the common good.
Phillip Vasels (New York)
Wait, this is only year 1. Sorry to jump ahead but I can hardly wait for Betsy Devos to bailout as soon as she secures her school vouchers. Her confirmation required a historic tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence after every Senate Democrat and two Senate Republicans voted against her. Are any of the cabinet members successfully fulfilling their duties? Even one?
Ralph Liberto (White Mills, Pa)
Is there a Trump Tie Tariff?
Stephen Feldman (White Plains NY)
Maybe the NY Times might research and publish an article how many senior officials including Mr. Cohn are getting the tax exemption by serving as senior advisors. Is it true or not true that Gary Cohn will reap a multi-million dollar tax break? How about Rex Tillerson?
brians3 (Oak Park)
Didn't Cohn say we could buy a new car or have our kitchen remodeled with the approximate $1000 refund from the IRS with no sign of embarrasment? Just as cynical a moment as Paul Ryan's cynical and pointed comments about the school employee that said her $1.50 week raise from the tax cut would help her pay one bill for the year. I don't think Cohn will be missed very much by the working class. I'm hoping Ryan gets his walking papers this fall, too. I see their comments as little more than middle fingers to all of us who aren't millionaires.
ModerateMom (San Francisco)
NYT readers. Be very very worried about the midterms, and be sure to not split the vote among liberal candidates. Trump mania will prevail in the rust belt due to these misguided policies. Here’s how trumpism is lead to a decline of the US faster than we could envision Be humble. Ask questions. Listen to who wanted these poor policies. Continue to be saddened the gop offers no adult supervision. The Dems need to be the party of Business and free trade now in order to protect everyday Americans from unneeded trade wars. Pick up all the independent votes you lost. Ruchir is too alarmed and fight.
Carter Nicholas (Charlottesville)
Entirely fair and sadly necessary, in observing a departure that may speak of government instability but certainly is to be welcomed in view of the "awful job" and "moral poverty" of the lucky one. Back to openly scarfing up billions in pay, having seized them lately by grotesque transfers under the tax code.
Underrepresented (La Jolla, CA)
Just because social security checks are going out and Medicare payments are being made, that means little with respect to a truly functioning federal government. You have a United States Congress and a SCOTUS that have been enormously corrupted by big money. You have a House of Representatives that is certainly not the House of the People. It is the House of the Crony Plutocrat Donors. They can't even pass or Ryan won't allow a vote on universal background checks that 90% of the people want, including a substantial majority of Republicans and even a substantial majority of actual NRA members. This is a largely dysfunctional federal government. Fortunately, our federalist system provides for the states to take up some of the slack. And, this is all the result of what the original Tea Party (not today's Freedom Caucus) stood against: taxation without FAIR representation. How could it possibly be fair when a substantial majority of voters for House seats voted for Democrats and yet Republicans are in control? It's not. CA and NY, among a number of states, are not represented in a proportional way. One person, one vote? Hardly! More like one crony plutocrat donor, a whole mess of votes. The system is corrupt. If the Dems (who have their own big problems) don't take the House, the United States could be on its last legs. I realize this sounds like a doomsday scenario, but I just don't see any way around this.
Denny S. (Minnesota)
I do not even like sharing a planet with DJT. How any self respecting person could work for him is beyond my comprehension.
Bruce (Illinois)
Any top executive from Goldman Sachs should already be in prison! Perhaps he and Trump can share a cell when Mueller finally gets all the evidence about Trump's shady and dishonest past and present.
Len (Pennsylvania)
Mr. Cohn suffers from an ailment that has infected most of the GOP: look-the-other-way-to-enrich-the-one-per-centitis. He can now join Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. The racism (and Fascism) that occurred in Charlottesville didn’t reach the moral tipping point for Mr. Cohn. But he got so mad at Donald Trump. SO mad! Now that the tax cuts are in, it’s time to search for greener pastures back in the private sector.
S.H. (Pennsylvania)
True, but if low level infections are left unattended over an extended period they can lead to significant damage to the overall health of the body and its ability to withstand a major assault.
Ryan (NY)
Maybe Trump is set to bankrupt another company he runs. U.S.A. Once trade war ensues, the US current account imbalance will no longer be overlooked and maybe the US sovereign default is a real possibility?
Robert (California)
As Trump’s corruption, incompetence, destruction of institutions and contempt for law and order become more and more scary, the Democratic message will hopefully become less progressive vs establishment and more elimination of corruption, reconstruction of institutions and restoration of respect for the rule of law. I can think of no one better able to transcend Democratic divisions and emphasize this unifying goal than Eric Holder. There’s no point in fighting about Medicare for all (even if it is becoming more mainstream) if the country needs to be put on life support.
TWWREN (Houston)
I am a Trump supporter but he is tragically wrong on tariffs. Tariffs never work; at best they are a zero sum game. If you support tariffs, ask yourself this question. Who pays the tariff? A tariff is nothing more than a corporate version of the minimum wage. It allows governments rather than the free market to determine the price of goods and services (or in the case of the minimum wage, the value of labor). This always results in political mischief, bureaucratic incompetency and misallocation of resources.
Mike Palmer (Boston)
Why, may I ask are you still aTrump supporter?
Harvey S. Cohen (Middletown, NJ)
North Korea has made overtures toward a nuclear disarmament deal, but there is no U.S. Envoy to North Korea, and no U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. Donny has not nominated candidates for these vital posts. The editorial's hopeful conclusion sounds more like whistling in the dark.
James Fear (California)
As a retired federal civil servant I appreciate the editorial boards closing remarks. Our federal agencies are not perfect, but by and large they do work. But I also agree with other commentators as that as time goes by, this out of control, incompetent administration will do more and more harm to the operations of the federal government. The largely incompetent appointments they make is one of the main problems, Their thoughtless budget cutting and failure to spend funds that are appropriated is another serious problem. As for Mr. Cohn, now that he is out of the administration, I hope he will tell the world how bad Trump is. He needs to put his loyalty to this country ahead of any misplaced loyalty to Trump. It is important that a rational competent Republicans, like Mitt Romney, run against Trump in 2020 if he is still around.
Susan (NM)
" The Social Security Administration is still sending out checks, service members are still defending the country, Medicare claims are being paid, and courthouse doors are open to those seeking justice. " Please, don't give him any ideas about what to "disrupt" next
Clark Landrum (Near the swamp.)
In a normal presidency, an affair between this Stormy character and the president would be front page news for months. With Trump, it's just given a passing glance.
[email protected] (Los Angeles )
does the Editorial Board wind up with an accolade for the dreaded "deep stae" Trump and his minions were so eager to destroy?
Robert (Seattle)
Cohn and these "adults" cannot have been whom we thought they were. It does not mean much at all to have been a Goldman Sachs executive or to be very rich or to have been a neurosurgeon. The "adults in the room" for this hare-brained administration simply lack basic decency. Let's not mince words. Moreover, they have failed to control a dangerously unhinged and untethered president. The State Department has been decimated by policies based on the Republican demonization of government. Now it no longer has the people or expertise to appropriately deal with North Korea. For his part, Mr. Cohn was not bothered overmuch by the president's appalling support for neo-Nazis. And he never criticized the president for his traitorous failure to respond to Russia's (in their own words) "information warfare." We once knew all of this of course. Even Trump Republicans who are now as unhinged and untethered as their messiah once knew this. Perhaps we still do all know this in our heart of hearts. It should go without saying that the worst of the worst were supported by, served by, and enabled by executives, rich people and neurosurgeons. Certainly that was the case for Hitler. This example is not hyperbole, given the nature of the president.
lester ostroy (Redondo Beach, CA)
You didn't mention the mendacity of Cohn for claiming his tax cut was for the middle class and wouldn't benefit the rich.
Mixiplix (Santa Monica)
Time is running out for President David Dennison
GM (Milford, CT)
In the time that Gary Cohn was there mucking-up things on taxes for what's left of the middle class in this country, did he and Trump ever sit down and discuss those speaking fees from Goldman for Hillary Clinton that seemed sooooooo disturbing to Trump during the election. Just wondering.
john dolan (long beach ca)
who would want to be seen near trump, let alone, work for him? perhaps the mooch is next to reappear in the trump administration. he certainly was a stabilizing presence.
petronius (jax, fl )
Every day that passes, I grow more wonder-filled that there are some many idiots on the right, or am I being prejudice? It seems almost impossible that with our education system, so many can support trump and his ilk. Have they all gone down the rabbit hole?
mouseone (Windham Maine)
Since we are doing so well without an actual president, maybe we should consider in future not having one. Have a King or Queen instead who has little or no power but can pose in front of the flag and console the country in time of need, a person who will be respectful of the constitution, stand for justice and some mercy towards criminals, and foster a quality of dignity to the workings of the government. A figurehead. Let the two leaders of House and Senate work out compromises, rather than try to pander to the president. Make Congress work for us, instead of working to get reelected.
Didier (Charleston WV)
At 1:00 pm today, the Dow was down over 4.5% from one week ago. Thanks for nothing, Mr. President. You and your rich buddies have already cashed in with tax reform. So, who cares about the rest of us?
Charlie (Flyover Territory)
It is fair to say that the New York Times and the rest of the former establishment media are completely without influence and power on the government, and the mass of the people now. The rejection of Hillary and her crew was simultaneously a rejection of them, and it will continue indefinitely into the future. Soon, Kushner and Ivanka will be leaving, with further discredit on those who imagined them continuing a modicum of the liberal Democratic regime of Obama.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
Exodus???? Just wait until the First one goes to jail. It will make fleeing the Titanic look like a Sunday stroll. Seriously.
Jim Muncy (& Tessa)
You know those automated Disneyland car rides where kids think that they're driving when they turn the steering wheel? That is analogous, it seems, to being president of the United States, i.e., it drives itself apparently. What else explains it? Know-nothing Donald turns the steering wheel, headed for the ditch, but we keep moving, okay, maybe in the wrong direction, but we keep moving, and the economy seems to be doing fine, although the stock market, not a trustworthy guide to economic health, is on a small roller-coaster ride. Fascinating and amazing. Maybe being president is pretty much, but not totally, idiot-proofed, because my anxious predictions were that we were to have already tanked big-time by now. I really didn't think we would last six months. But here we are. Here we are. Where is that exactly? Well, it's uncharted waters, so no one really knows, except god, and she ain't talking. Don't miss tomorrow's exciting episode of Donald in Fantasyland. There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, smiling at the end of every day ...
Notmypesident (los altos, ca)
Unfortunately, what you call "dedicated and professional civil servants" are considered part of the "deep state" by the crowd of the liar-in-chief. So it remains to be seen how long they will last. While seemingly everyone seems to be preoccupied by the issue of collusion dare I raise the question it it possible that the US in fact has a Manchurian president retained by Putin? When the US ends up dismantling all traditional alliance who is afraid of any sanctions - let alone those that this crowd refuses to implement?
Annabelle Tureaud (Los Angeles)
Inevitably, Trump’s minions cave-in to pressure from self-contempt. From the time any discerning individual joins the Trump camp, his soul is utilized in the exchange, artfully, known as part of the deal working with the Donald.
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
"Indeed, he has done an awful job. His chief accomplishment was helping pass a tax cut that will benefit wealthy people like himself while adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt for future generations to pay off." I'm not sad to see him go because of the above, and I don't think it makes any difference who replaces him, because the chief cause of all this administration's messes is Donald Trump himself. Yes, the Board is claiming that just because the wheels of government are more or less running, that it proves our democratic institutions are holding up. I'm not entirely sure about that. So far, there have been no real crises and if the president is as erratic and emotional as he is with ordinary things, I can't imagine him dealing with a serious economic downturn or a real war. At least Gary Cohn had some brains, but without the morality to go along with them, his absence will hardly make that much of a difference. We can only hope that either time passes quickly, or more Americans become completely disenchanted with the president's decisions once he starts making some (other than tax reform) that backfire.
Carol (bozeman)
What kind of "economic advisor" works to give himself and his industry a huge tax break by foisting a $1.5 trillion debt onto his constituients? Not a good one. Cohn stuck around long enough to get what he wanted and not long enough to get the blame for his bad advice. Good riddance!
Rodin's Muse (Arlington)
He got what he wanted. The passage of the tax cut for the uber wealthy like him and his ilk. No more reason to stick around and get tarred with Trump's muck.
David (iNJ)
Is this an administration of professionals or a temp agency. Is the number 20 or more who have called it quits with trump? I’m surprised Melania has lasted this long.
janvier25 (Toronto)
Rachel Maddow keeps an ongoing tally, which you can see in last night's show. Including high level departures from the vice-president, the total is 50 now.
Dave.....Just Dave (Somewhere in Florida )
Trump's "master plan" of bringing those of equal levels of inexperience and/or incompetence, in an attempt to shake up the Beltway status quo, is continuing to slowly but surely blow up in his face. If this were an animated cartoon, Trump's orangish-looking complexion would be laden with black gunpowder (think Wile E. Coyote); his coiff blown backwards off his head (think Daffy Duck's bill dislocated from the front of his face).
kat perkins (Silicon Valley)
Mr. Cohn, who until late last year was the No. 2 executive at the investment bank Goldman Sachs, has assets worth $252 million to $611 million, Education. Family. Stature. Could have done so much better for us. Lame.
Nancy (San Francisco)
"Last summer, Mr. Cohn displayed MORAL POVERTY by refusing to quit the administration..." Moral poverty. If this describes a person leaving the T Admin, How would the Times Editorial Board describe the moral state of those remaining? Thank you.
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
Our president is only "seeking perfection"? His administration is hemorrhaging department heads who are leaving with or without his blessings. Democracy is messy, but doesn't have to be filled with the daily chaos and drama provided by the worst president in American history. How long will we be assaulted by the death from a thousand cuts dished out by Trump?
Daniel B (Granger, In)
Leaving is an option only until you are behind bars.
David Doney (I.O.U.S.A.)
If only Trump would do nothing and enjoy the Obama economic boom he inherited...
John Harper (Carlsbad, CA)
I saw a brief interview with Wilbur Ross. Good Lord, the guy needs to go to a rest home. These are America's best?
PK (Seattle )
I saw it myself on the news last night: 45 says people are lining up to "get a piece of the oval office, to get a piece of the White many want to work there" So, we shouldn't worry, 45 has lots of hiring options! No problem here! Lock her up!
GBC1 (Canada)
Will Cohn's departure make any difference? He wasn't having an influence, that is why he quit.
l Ferguson (chicago)
He didn't get the Fed Chair job and that still burns
PS (Vancouver)
No argument on almost everything in this piece, except for this statement in the concluding paragraph: "courthouse doors are open to those seeking justice . . . ". Really? Were you to pose this very question to the thousands of poor, marginalisied, minority, and dispossessed populations, I am not sure they would agree . . .
MKKW (Baltimore )
and add the undocumented immigrants, thanks to Supreme Court ruling have no rights to a speedy hearing once detained for whatever reason, speeding ticket, dispute with landlord, whatever minor or major offence.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
What difference does this make outside Washington, coastal and and urban America?
You mean the areas where the smart people are? The areas that make the wealth of this nation? You mean where the arts come from. You mean where the culture comes from? You mean where all the technological developments originate? Is that what you mean?
MDB (Indiana)
It really says something that a former Goldman Sachs exec is held up as one of the sole paragons of virtue and common sense in the Trump administration.
CSW (New York City)
"courthouse doors are open to those seeking justice" That's a joke! Justice for whom? What about all the cranks with limited experience that have been appointed to the federal judiciary.
amrcitizen16 (AZ)
Demographics will play a large part in the Nov 2018 elections and many commenters are discouraged by what they see in their own communities. Cohn's exits should start to unnerve his base that so many are leaving the administration and many do not want to be associated with a sinking ship. Yet the Trumpistas still hang on. The GOP is playing psychological games and their manipulators are using social media to connect to the Trumpistas. It is absolutely imperative that we all understand this game and how deadly it can be. If we need to win in Nov 2018 and turn the tables around on this horrible GOP agenda, an agenda to destroy our government, then we must keep in mind the manipulators use of tribal psychology as their key in this game. Not enough can be said in this comment on the reality of the danger we face if we cannot turn it around for each day that passes we get closer to an accident happening or an edict from the Pretend King Trump that can bring about hostile aggression from our own government. Let the government's dysfunction should not deter us from fighting every edict uttered from the Pretend King Trump and his GOP Court.
JWMathews (Sarasota, FL)
Ok, here is what we have. Donald Trump, General Kelly, Jarred & Ivanka, Sarah Sanders, Navarro, Conway and other assorted characters who have zero qualifications for their positions. Many lack full security clearance. Ok Trump, if this is your best and brightest, you have a "Yuge" perception problem and I'm not even mentioning Stormy Daniels. How's the swamp gong? Think you've hit the "quicksand". God help us.
Charna (Forest Hills)
"I alone can fix it" were DT's words during the election campaign. However, what most Americans are seeing is that DT alone will and is destroying what is good about America. Tarrif wars, taxes that benefit the one percent, Muslim bans, no DACA fix, no sensible gun reforms and the list goes on. I am not so sure that that our democratic institutions will continue to hold. There are cracks now. How much longer will it be when the crevice is so big that our democracy disintegrates?! We the people must take action. Vote 2018 and let's hope we are not too late!
bse (vermont)
Of course it is wonderful that the Social Security checks are still mailed, and Medicare bills paid, etc. as you note, but the real damage that will last beyond the Trump era, even if it ends tomorrow, is what has been going on in the cabinet departments being run by people opposed to their reason for being in existence. Think EPA, Interior, HUD, and on and on. A sad and scary time with scary people in charge, and I still am unclear exactly how it happened, even though a lot of the scary underpinnings of our nation's politics have been uncovered for the poor citizen to see and try to understand. Just examining the faces of most of those in power now, in the White House and in the Congress, shows how cynical and corrupt they are. More scary stuff. Now all we need to do is throw the scary people out in November and try to restore some faith in our country.
Jackson Goldie (PNW)
“Yet the disarray in the administration has, thankfully, not infected many of the core functions of the government carried out by dedicated and professional civil servants”. Surely, you jest. There isn’t a SINGLE agency (other than ICE) that is functioning at anywhere optimum. Trump has “deconstructed” our civil government in order to facilitate its looting.
AynRant (Northern Georgia)
Cranks and saboteurs are at work! Who else would borrow $1.5 trillion and distribute it to the people who don't need it, won't spend it, and won't invest it in the real market? Who else would start a trade war with his bankers?
Pragmatist (Austin, TX)
Anyone willing to work for Trump should not have been expected to quit over the Charlottesville incident. It is not that it was not abhorrent, it is just that so were so many other things Trump has said & done. A true adult would have wanted to stick around to try to influence what he could - so get over it. Trade is another issue, though. What is the point for a thoughtful economic consultant to stick around if you can not influence the views of the President? I don't agree with Cohen on a number of issues (especially the ridiculous tax cut), but I see why he left now. It is obviously a waste of time. The real question continues to be, is there any competent person who would ever want to serve in this Administration? Trump doesn't listen. He is clearly not capable of understanding. What are the implications for the future? The bureaucracy is the only thing holding the government together and it is hemorrhaging talent at all levels. When the remaining, small-minded, bigoted, incompetent children start having to deal with an actual crisis, what hope do we have? Puerto Rico is just the beginning!
glevy (Upstate South Carolina)
Yes, a shout out to the many dedicated civil servants who serve the country as the country deserves and needs to be served. I have criticized the president hoping to add my voice to the gathering tumult hoping against hope that the republicans might act with patriotism in confronting him. They expose politics and politicians for what they've become.......small minded job holders interested in their employment perks without an ounce of interest in public service.
Mrf (Davis)
There are a variety of "interesting" outcomes from Trump's tarriffs on basic industrial metals: 1. What if their imposition causes no significant effect on OUR economy?? What would that say about our collective beliefs in globalism as the true way to lift most economic boats ( maybe except the Ohio valley ) . 2. What if it does win that special election? Are we going to cry foul because a specific issue we don't agree with makes the difference in this race? Do we have a legitimate grip when a conservative republican who endorses Trump's overall message that was so successful in mobilizing the vote wins. No we don't. The Dems still are languishing in a wasteland of rhetoric that will continue to cost them the prize regardless of #metoo and lgbq rhetoric. Trump is predictably delivering at least morsels of his point list he got elected on. The truth is that as soon as the special election is decided ,Trump, will.modify his embargo, life will go on and again Democrats will be LOSERS!!
Mark Hugh Miller (San Francisco, California)
The key to Trump's downfall is not going to be political as long as we have the likes of McConnell and Ryan leading their respective packs, but financial. The most effective remedy to Trump's crimes, egregious performance and unremitting war on this country's financial health and national spirit would be the complete collapse of his Ponzi-like real estate schemes, proving the lie of his purported "billions" and "genius" for business. Trump's resume includes empty hotels, bankrupt casinos, serial lying about "substandard performance" by contractors he's stiffed for decades, a failed airline, a failed fake "university," partners pulling down their Trump banners. If the Department of Justice were to investigate his financial dealings, particularly his alleged involvement in international Russian money laundering with Deutche Bank, that would likely be the end of 45. Until that happens - slim chance while Sessions remains at the helm of the DOJ - the most effective tactics against Trump are investigative journalism and watchdog probes that follows the money. The GOP and the Supreme Court are not currently reliable partners in our democracy; it's up to the pavement pounders in journalism and elsewhere to bring this dangerous and delusional phony down.
Lance Brofman (New York)
There are stupid tariffs and very stupid tariffs. A very stupid tariff is a tariff on steel and aluminum that increases the costs of every product made in the USA that uses those metals. This increases consumer prices and makes products produced in the USA less competitive relative to those made outside the USA using steel and aluminum pieces at the world market rather than the artificially propped-up protected US steel market. A less stupid tariff is the retaliatory tariff that will be put on US motorcycles (Harley Davidson) that will not raise any costs on any EU producers, or raise prices for anyone in the EU, except for buyers of motorcycles. Protectionism is the progressivism of fools. Gandhi was a great statesman but a horrible economist. Just as the ignorant in the USA argue that American workers who earn $15 per hour should not have to compete with Chinese workers who make $2 per hour, Gandhi thought that Indian workers should not have to compete with American and European workers who have the benefit of modern machines. As a result India adopted protectionism. In 1947 the per capita income of India was similar to countries such a South Korea. By 1977 the per capita income and standard of living in South Korea was many times that of India. India has since largely abandoned protectionism and has benefited immensely from free trade. Just as David Ricardo proved would be the case when he developed comparative advantage..."
Paul Wortman (East Setauket, NY)
Yes, "Gary Cohn joins the Exodus." While Donald Trump may be an American Pharaoh, Mr. Cohn is no Moses. He refused to defend his heritage when Mr. Trump granted moral equivalence to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville who killed a young woman counter-protester. He is a bona fide worshiper of the "golden calf" whose only commandment was the covetousness of Republican-style tax cuts for the financial elite. In doing so, he's left the nation in a deep hole of over $1 trillion in additional debt. Like so many joining the exodus, he was ethically-challenged in putting personal privilege over public service and has left America worse off than he found it.
Guest (Redmond, WA)
This is so on-target! Finally someone sees that this is all about The Golden Calf! What's New? YAYYYY! Thank you.
Victor James (Los Angeles)
If you think the pace of resignations has been high, wait until Mueller indicts someone in Trump’s inner circle. It will be a stampede to get out. The folks who work in the West Wing reflect their boss: cowards who care only about themselves
David Ohman (Denver)
At what point will the Republican Party, particular those controlling the Senate, have their come-to-Jesus-moment, and decide to impeach Trump?!?! Where is the new iteration of the GOP badge of integrity — who will be the new Howard Baker — who will lead this party of treasonous criminals out of the darkness of their moral poverty, and into the light of integrity? More Republicans than Democrats are "retiring" from the House and Senate. They know their reelection chances are slim-to-none with Trump's chaotic White House. They know America's reputation among our allies — and out enemies — is melting faster than the polar icecap. Then, after Mr. Cohn's announcement to resign, Trump told the WH press corps that "everyone wants a piece of the White House." He has never mentioned the concept of serving the country for the good of the country. In the meantime. scandal after scandal rocks this administration and the only thing Trump can do is tell the country that chaos is what makes it all work so well. There is also the Stormy Daniels lawsuit announced last night. Apparently, DJT's signature is NOT on the Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) yet, there is a signature line for Trump on that document. Meanwhile, Melania must be shackled with the golden handcuffs of a twisted prenuptual agreement to put up with all of this. She hates him and she hates the WH residence. NOTE TO RNC: pick a rel hero from within your party and impeach DJT ASAP. The world is waiting.
It would appear that Mr. Cohn is leaving because he is unable to win an economic argument with the President. I would have been more impressed if he had left because of the Presidents moral lapses - Chancellorsville.
Chris Parel (Northern Virginia)
Stormy Daniels is the only honest broker in Trump's pantheon of economic pundits and officialdom. The only one peddling her services honestly --not in thrall to economic oligarchs even if she's a bit pricey. She is even taking on the Trumpocracy for breach of contract. America should follow her example. Cohn a Democrat? A stabilizing influence? An individual of integrity before being corrupted by Trump? Really? No one can know Cohn's agenda in taking up with Trump. What we know are his actions --what he did, said, associated with. Who he helped and ignored. The 60's adage 'You are who your friends are' translates in Trump and GoP politics and parlance to 'You are the 1% you help, the trough where you feed, the moral and fiscal indignities you swallow'. But then who ever believed that draining the swamp could be done by putting Goldman Sachs on a retainer? Cohn has us with his silence on the GoP's attempt to deprive 22 million poor and sickly Americans of healthcare to fund tax reform for the rich. We didn't need a hiccup over Neo-Nazis, silence on Russia or his atrocious tax reform for the rich that will result the gutting of US Government revenue, functions and services for the poor and middle class. Tariffs are nothing more than an easy way out and a salve for whatever shreds of conscience remain. Want to bet he has a soft landing somewhere on the wrong side of right? Poor, misunderstood, well intentioned Cohn...
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
"I like conflict. I like having two people with different points of view, and I certainly have that. And then I make a decision. But I like watching it, I like seeing it ... " (Mr. Trump, CNN 7Mar2018) He seems to consider himself a Roman Emperor, e.g. Caligula who considered himself a god. I see Mr. Trump imagining gladiators fighting and giving one the "thumbs down", repeatedly. All for his amusement while the wheels are falling off the "empire".
enzibzianna (PA)
Good riddance to bad rubbish. Stop trying to put lipstick on a pig. Our government leaders are actively working against our best interests, and this guy was helping them. Rats from a sinking ship.
Robert (Out West)
The pathetic and hilarious thing is, Gary Cohn is pretty much the best the Administration has had on offer, barring maybe two generals. I mean, Wilbur Ross? Ben Carson? The EPA chief, whose latest is to get caught allowing his staffers to moonlight?
rac (NY)
The best you refer to designed the tax fraud scheme to enrich his buddies and put the rest of us in debt for many generations to come. There is no better or best in this corrupt White House and the Republican party that put the crooks there and supports them.
ChesBay (Maryland)
If only we could all leave. But, where to go? Canada?
Lynn (New York)
np. don't leave. Go to the voting booth and help others to get there.
MSW (Naples, Maine)
Chaos, incivility and pure greed. I never imagined those words would define a US Presidential administration. This WH is endeavouring to turn back the hands of time by a half century with dire results and I profoundly hope that the next generation will take the helm and show leadership, very soon. In the absence of inspiring leadership, this nation is destined for a 2nd world "Once Was Great" status.
eliza (california)
You omitted Russo-Republicans among chaos, incivility, and greed.
Edward Sheehy (Minneapolis)
Trump has lowered the bar on ethics, integrity, and honesty such that Republicans will never have the high moral ground to criticize a Democratic president no matter how scandal plagued.
David Carr (Austin, TX)
But they will, nonetheless.
Avalanche (New Orleans)
Trump, Trump, Trump and Gary bites the dust. Trump. Trump. Trump. and Gary bites the dust. And another one's gone, and another one's gone. Another one bites the dust.
allen roberts (99171)
Cohn did what Trump wanted and that was to line the pockets of the wealthy with a phony tax cut dressed up in doll clothes to fool the average American into thinking they were getting a tax break. He was just one of the incompetents in this Administration whose long range plan is about two weeks. Infrastructure rebuilding is just another of the Trump falsities. The need is huge with bridges and highways crumbling, high speed rail not even on the radar, and no money to do the needed repairs. Cohn did nothing. His only concern is that the tariffs will eat up the tax cut for ordinary folks. That is the only true thing coming out of this White House.
Antonio Puron (Mexico)
“Seeking perfection”: the perfect storm
kat perkins (Silicon Valley)
Mr. Cohn sold his soul last year as architect of a tax plan that hurts kids, working people, the elderly while standing stoically behind Trump defending Nazis. With an elite education and massive personal wealth, he could have done so much better. No backbone.
NNI (Peekskill)
Gary Cohn was seen as one of the stabilizing factors in Trump's coterie of advisers. Maybe. If Cohn was the voice of reason, then that shows how low is the benchmark for this administration. Gary Cohn from the 1% or should I say .001% ruthlessly achieved his goal of helping the 1% swallowing all the insults from his Boss and shamelessly standing next to the President while he was making racist remarks about Charlottesville. That was a moral failure of unbelievable proportions. That should have been the reason for him to quit. But he quits about tariffs, not because of any American job losses but because his brethren stand more to lose in the trade wars sure to ensue. He will just go back to Goldman Sachs, become the ruthless boss and without qualms nor publicity enrich himself throwing his little people under the bus. Who cares about the title - economic adviser!
Carl (Arlington, VA)
I don't care about Gary Cohn, but I'm a Jew and am offended by the constant drumbeat that Gary Cohn is the only failure who should've resigned after Trump's horrible remarks condoning the Nazis. What about the non-Jewish Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, for starters? A small fact: most of the Americans who died or were horribly wounded (including lifelong PTSD and later suicides) at the hands of Nazis weren't Jews, although many Jews fought bravely and also died or were wounded in World War II. Is Gary Cohn the only one who displayed "moral poverty" by not taking larger steps to protest Trump's encouragment of Nazis and other hate groups? I think not.
ACJ (Chicago)
Prediction: Trump pardons Bernie Madoff and appoints him to Cohn's position---in Trump's words, "say what you want about Bernie---he is a deal maker."
JARenalds (Oakland CA)
Hubris thy name is Cohn, DeVos, Carson, Ross and the rest of the swamp. Know nothings who said under their breath when they were appointed or became part of Trump's motley crew, "I've got this". Well, they don't got it and neither do we. We must vote these people out in 2020. Our lives and livelihoods depend on it.
Generallissimo Francisco Franco (Los Angeles)
Nationalism is OK for Israel, Russia, China, India, Korea, Vietnam, South Africa... Why isn't nationalism OK for the United States?
Geof Rayner (UK)
I think you have begun to answer your own question. But here's a thought, do you really think that US trade negotiators go into meetings NOT thinking of their national interest?
DPK (Siskiyou County Ca.)
In a country like ours diversity is what we should strive for. If you live in any large urban setting there are many ethnic groups taking part in the daily lives of the cities. We are a nation of immigrants. Most where drawn here by that exact thing. In the countries you mentioned there is no diversity in the population, they all share the the same common ancestors. Here not so much. If you support nationalism here you will alienate many ethnic groups who work hard, just like you to make a better life for their children. Why in a country like ours should one group be ascendant to the exclusion of all the others?
KarenE (Nj)
Gary Cohn represents the worst of America . His career accomplishments simply add up to getting more capital funneled to the wealthiest of Americans by manipulating the system at everyone else’s expense. He did exactly what Trump wanted ; that is to put more money in Trump’s own pocket, regardless of touting on the campaign trail that the very rich wouldn’t get more tax cuts and that hedge fund manager needed to pay their fair share in taxes . Yeah right , from the Liar in Chief . The most disgusting thing about Trump is that he’s all about himself . First” give me more money, then I can deceive my base into thinking I really care about them by exacting steel tariffs”. Trump couldn’t care less about how it affects the country or the world . As for the closing sentence of this editorial, basing our institutional strength on the fact that people are still getting Social Security and Medicare checks is extremely naive . Trump just started . Wait till Ryan digs his claws into him .Despite what Trump promised about not touching Social Security and Medicare , the exorbitant tax cuts are going to take so much revenue out of government that he will claim he has no choice but to make cuts . And then of course he’ll blame it on Obama .
Bobcb (Montana)
It will take a long time to recover from the damage that is being done by the Neanderthals in the Trump Administration. This, of course, assumes that Trump does not blow up the world in the meantime.
TheraP (Midwest)
“moral poverty” I like the concept. It’s emblematic of this entire sadministration. What ugly depths of character this White House has embraced. It is a moral sewer. Getting worse by the day. As new and more fetid facts come to light.
B. Rothman (NYC)
Say, this guy stayed long enough to get his monster tax cut and have it put on the books as the Never Ending Story. It’s his Oscar and he prosaically left the day after.
Glen Macdonald (Westfield)
Soon there will be chaos in the streets if Trump"s WH chaos continues to intensify.
HRW (Boston, MA)
Sewer gas is wafting through the White House and it smells like Trump. No legitimate economist will want to soil his/her reputation joining this train wreck. Now that Gary Cohn (a real profile in courage) is gone, Trump will only attract crack pot voodoo economists like Steven Moore and Larry Kudlow. That's why Democrats have to get out the vote and win back the House and Senate to put a brake on the craziness. Maybe Mueller can find something to help cut short this embarrassing President.
jwp-nyc (New York)
Trump: An incompetent and addled tinpot dictator who is attempting to turn the United States into another backwater tinpot dictatorship shxxhole nation. Carl Icahn makes a living off of exploiting and trading on secrets from tinpot dictatorships like Indonesia. Gary Cohen and Steve Mnuchin just learned who they're working for? Doubtful. They just figured out that the rest of the nation is catching wise and looking for the exits that aren't locked ahead of the indictments? Probable.
alan (Holland pa)
dont understand why mr cohn resigned. doesnt he believe there are good people on both sides of the tarrifs debate! shame on him!
Niall (Toronto)
Whether there are good people is besides the point. It is bad, destructive economics policy. The fact that Trump overrode him on a very fundamental point means that his position as an adviser became untenable.
DK in VT (New England)
I think you missed Allan's point.
WestSider (Manhattan)
"With the cranks and nationalists ascendant in Trump World," Cranks? Is that like 'deplorables'? NYT speaking Clintonese? The only people who dislike nationalists are the globalists who have been keen on bankrupting America while they line their pockets. They should all be sent packing. Trump should replace Cohn with either Navarro or Joseph Stiglitz.
jeffk (Virginia)
Stiglitz is a proponent of global trade, so your entire "argument" makes zero sense. I agree with those who would call people deplorables or cranks when they make statements with no basis in facts. Here is a direct quote from Stiglitz, "The U.S. must not rebalance the trade account and can no longer apply protectionist measures to protect or recreate the well-paying manufacturing jobs". Protectionism is antiquated and not productive. BTW I'm a middle-class earner, I believe in globalism and I am not keen on bankrupting America - when you speak in absolutes like you did in your comment it undermines your credibility. If you want to be viewed as other than "deplorable" then do some research and stop spewing lies.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
I never wanted corporate Democrats to do more of the same. Therefore I'm glad to see him go. That does not mean I wanted lunacy or support just anything. It only means I never wanted this guy or people like him.
Beach dog (NJ)
Dysfunction is what dysfunction does: Welcome to the Trump presidency.
Dra (Md)
The so-called adults are failing dramatically or turning out to be not very adult at all.
Karla (North Carolina)
Bottom line? He got what he wanted with tax cuts. Now, he can go back to Wall Street with a big grin and even more billions in his bank account.
Janet michael (Silver Spring Maryland)
Who knew that there was such an inexhaustible supply of cranks and miscreants who suddenly appear to join the chaos in the Oval Office.Any new hires can hardly be wore than those who have left and are under indictment or are being "interviewed" and spending thousands on lawyers to defend them.
Pat (Somewhere)
"With the cranks and nationalists ascendant in Trump World..." If it wasn't for cranks and nationalists there wouldn't be a Trump World.
Tom Debley (Oakland, California)
I cannot be as grateful as the editorial board that “the disarray in the administration has, thankfully, not infected many of the core functions of the government carried out by dedicated and professional civil servants.” People who work in large organizations do not flee dysfunction immediately, and we are only a little more than a year into the Trump administration. I still worry every day that after four years of this administration, coupled with an equally dysfunctional Congress, disarray will take a serious toll on some core functions of government. As going to their jobs every day becomes more and more of a Sisyphean task in an environment of dysfunction, I believe we still face a grave threat that dedicated civil servants, especially in management and middle management, will begin to seek jobs elsewhere and leave the government — and dysfunction will spread into core functions. I pray you are correct, but fear you are not.
Chris (Everett WA)
Wake up, Tom. The "threat" is a reality, and the exodus is already happening at an alarming rate. The republic will not survive 4 years of this "MAGA" experiment. Vote in November to end this madness!
Jonathan (Norwell MA)
It will be very hard for Gary to wash away the stench of Trump. His resigning certainly won't do it.
Andrea Landry (Lynn, MA)
I believe this is number 53 and counting as far as people leaving the Trump administration due to being fired, being charged with crimes, throwing their hands up in the air and resigning for the good of their career and stable mental health, or caught up in ethical or sexual scandals. All this in 13.5 months of a new 'American' presidency. I am beginning to think Venezuela has a more stable government.
Brent Jeffcoat (South Carolina)
We are on our way! Next up our leader will start blaming some other nation or something like NATO.
"There’s no better testament to the strength of American institutions that are under assault every day by this administration." But for how long? All these institutions needed serious rebuilding before these assaults - how long can they stand.
Tomas O'Connor (The Diaspora)
"The staff turnover in the Trump administration is significantly higher than for the past five presidents and is double the rate for the first year of the Reagan administration, the previous record-holder, according to the Brookings Institution." Ah, the "coincident" nexus. Trickle down, Welfare Queen, Big Buck, Philadelphia, Mississippi, Reagan meets Trickle on, Good People on Both Sides, Sweet Home Alabama, Trump. Remove, root and branch, November 2018.
Guy Walker (New York City)
"dubious ideas, limited experience and loads of ethical baggage" yet half of the registered voters who show up will approve of these gangsters over what they deem as socialists. Thereby a tale hangs us by the neck. Half of the registered voters would rather hire people to represent their financial interests that they'd reject as employees or colleague. The people who demand we rely on these crooks are burying us.
Tony (Arizona (AZ))
We've had great manufacturing with tariffs throughout history. America first!
Siple1971 (FL)
Cohn fulfilled his objectives and had no reason to stay further. The corporate tax cuts will boost the stock market with share buybacks and make American companies a bit more competitive. The individual tax cut will benefit all some and the ultra rich an enormous amount. And regulations on Wall Street are falling Time for Gary to return to Goldman in glory, and reap the fantastuc rewards of getting Wall Street’s job done very well My only hooe is that thus stills the idiocy who still believe Trump does not pander to soecial interests
Nancy (Winchester)
@Joanna W "But, we need to have people of integrity to stay to act as a bulwark against Trump's impetuosity. I feel a little safer knowing the generals are there." Like Kelly???
Andrew (San Diego)
Cohn made his bed when he decided to join Team Trump. It's not like anyone didn't know Trump had strong protectionist sympathies -- it was central to his campaign. I'm not happy he's gone though because as the authors note, his replacement is likely to be considerably worse.
Corduroy (California)
The republican establishment and the opportunists who signed on with Trump will not be judged well by history. With the perspective of a little time, we might see that the “Trump rally” in the stock market and improving labor numbers were, in fact, only possible because the Trump administration was too distracted to focus its wrecking ball of ignorance on economic matters.
Gregory Durant (NY, NY)
The Trump White House's best year is behind them. And that's saying something.
Charles (Clifton, NJ)
Well-stated by the Editorial Board: "There’s no better testament to the strength of American institutions that are under assault every day by this administration." Anyone who gets close to Trump gets burned. A fact that verifies this notion is that both Roger Stone and Chris Muddy defend Trump, but manage to keep a healthy distance from him, thus preserving their positions. Trump supporters are the same way. They just extoll Trump's imagined virtues to friends and family members, without consequence. Although they'll pay more for items due to Trump's tariffs, and they'll pay for his wall with Mexico. David Leonhardt also said it well in his email this morning: "For the rest of Gary Cohn’s career, whenever his name comes up, people will think of Donald Trump. The relationship worked out much better for Trump than for Cohn." Maybe it was the idealism of serving a (so-called) president, but Gary Cohn should have known what Trump was like. Many of us did. It was obvious to me what Trump's impetuous behavior would do to the presidency. Why would one serve someone who vilely insults good people? In so serving, someone is now part of Trump's recalcitrant gang. As my mother said, "You are known by the people with whom you associate."
Steve Bolger (New York City)
For Trump to perceive victory, somebody else must lose.
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
What an odd final paragraph. First, I don't think many people need reminding whether or not their social security check landed in the bank account. Second, don't draw attention to social services. If our civil institutions are functioning at all under the Trump administration, we can thank neglect rather than attention. Third, there's a lag effect to all government processes. The Trump administration is an earthquake. We don't know yet which volcano will erupt or where the tsunami will land. The impact of chaos on social services will not be immediately felt.
Jim (Placitas)
Gary Cohn surrendered his ethics the day he joined this mess of an administration. You don't join a gang of bank robbers and then quit because you disagree over which bank to hit next. Calling him the "sensible" adult in this particular room is like calling him the thief least likely to steal your wallet. I suspect his outrage has more to do with his failure to cash in on the steel tariff talk, ala Carl Icahn. Maybe he didn't get the memo in time. Whatever the case, the one thing Gary Cohn displayed during his tenure was a consistent moral and ethical relativism that had little to do with what's right or what makes sense or, probably, even what he knows to be true, and everything to do with remaining in the good graces of his overlord. The name tag that reads "Former Goldman Sachs Executive" tells us everything we need to know about Gary Cohn.
ChesBay (Maryland)
Jim--Sorry, Cohn never had any ethics. He used to lead Goldman Sachs. He just seemed to be sane, focused, and skilled, just not interested in the general welfare of our country, only the rich ones, like himself.
John Grillo (Edgewater,MD)
Cranks, nationalists, traitors, felons, bigots, racists, grifters, misogynists, liars, incompetents, extremists, hypocrites, etc., etc., etc. Ah, the joys of Trump World, the electoral "gift" that keeps on giving!
TheraP (Midwest)
Giving to Mueller, who is stingy with indictments.
John Grillo (Edgewater,MD)
Sorry, in the list of notables "pornstars" and "mistresses" were absentmindedly omitted. Too many uniquely Trumpian characters to keep track of.
trblmkr (NYC)
Though I doubt this will happen, the best move would be for the US to quit the WTO, join the TPP, and convince the other big economy democracies to isolate China. Oh yeah, and leave NAFTA alone.
Bassman (U.S.A.)
Sorry, NYT, but environmental protection, public safety and public health are all core functions of the government too, and the disarray or mean-spirited and wrong-headed policies of this administration have surely infected them as much as the bare administrative functions you cite.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
The President who prefers popular mass media over the most well informed agencies and institutions who the mass media seeks out when it needs facts instead of dueling spin masters. A person can be given a potentially high functioning brain and remain so ignorant and complacent about realty that the resulting mind is pretty much only good for processing chemicals that create strong feelings but little else. Trump will be the standard for the unsuitable and truly inept President, indefinitely.
Milton Lewis (Hamilton Ontario)
Finally Cohn shows some backbone.Where has he been? Too little too late too late to save his besmirched reputation.
Pat Boice (Idaho Falls, ID)
What a mess this administration is, to put it mildly. Will Goldman Sachs re-hire Mr. Cohn? Why would anyone with a decent reputation go to work for Trump?
Susan (Susan In Tucson)
Who can blame Mr. Cohn for quitting? Pretending to take anything Trump says as intelligent and well thought out must have been a burden too heavy. At least he thanked only the American people for the opportunity to work for them.
Michael Piscopiello (Higganum Ct)
When it comes to Trump's military parade this year, his administration at this rate will need just a few seats in the viewing stand. In fact, he may be standing alone surrounded only by his MAGA supporters.
lindalipscomb (california)
Well, from Cohn's and Trump's point of view, there is no chaos. Cohn got his goal accomplished, i.e., tax cuts for Goldman, and the rest of corporate and individual 1%. They are thinking: Mission Accomplished!
Generallissimo Francisco Franco (Los Angeles)
That's what I was thinking when the tax cut passed. Now they've got what they want, they'll cut Trump loose.
silver (Virginia)
Gary Cohn is just the latest member of this administration to depart from this house of cards. Yes, America is surviving this president so far but do the 62 million people who threw away their votes on November 8, 2016 realize the damage they did to their country and themselves? America would be so much better off if the president joined Cohn, Hope Hicks and the exodus out of the White House. And, as in Cohn's case, America will cheer the president's departure because indeed, he has done an awful job.
Generallissimo Francisco Franco (Los Angeles)
Mike Pence seems completely bewildered by the whole thing.
Tom Sofos (Texas)
Lighten up editorial board. It’s not that bad.
Stos Thomas (Stamford CT)
Yes. It is.
tim s. (longmont)
Cohn got his tax cut implemented—why not go back to Goldman Sachs and make some REAL money. Plus no more public scrutiny of integrity or lack thereof.
BigFootMN (Minneapolis)
Cohn is not the last "adult" in the room. He was in it only for himself and others in his financial strata. There are no adults in this mess. And that includes the gatekeeper, "General" Kelly. He is as racist as the rest of this troupe.
Mark R. (Bergen Co., NJ)
Whoever thought the White House would end up on one of those websites under the header of "You Don't Want to Work Here" or "Career Killer."
Mark (California)
Why is anyone still supporting america? We in the Blue States are creative enough and of sufficiently sound character to start new countries better in every way than the united failed states. But we must first refuse to be led by these degenerates. #calexit - because Californians deserve better.
Robert (Out West)
I'm in a blue state, whatever the heck that really means, and I refuse to be led by dolts who want to break up the country into bitty bits.
Tobias (Mid-Atlantic)
Let's be realistic. All Americans deserve better than Trump.
Susan (Susan In Tucson)
Brilliance, education, devotion to duty, and above all DECENCY made Mr. Cohn totally unfit to work in this disgusting administration.
David (California)
Without even considering the unprecedented corruption around him, there has never been a President less fit for office than Trump. Simply put he is not up to the job. Time the Republicans recognize this fact and quickly get rid of him via the 25th amendment. Sheer incompetence is adequate grounds.
dougiefresh (philadelphia)
Cohn didn't leave the White House over Charlottesville because he hadn't yet completed his one and only goal: rewrite the tax laws to favor himself and the other uber-rich. The tariffs gave him cover to walk out the door with his mission accomplished and his complete and utter lack of integrity on full display.
sonya (Washington)
Just a shill for the rich. His name should signify nothing but contempt in the future. Tax cuts - check; now let's go on to reaping the benefits of this misbegotten law. He is a moral coward.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
Exactly .
Randomonium (Far Out West)
As any New Yorker should have learned at some point in the last 40 years, Donald Trump cannot be trusted, even by his various wives. He talks big, but when it suits his whim, he doesn't pay his bills and he doesn't keep his word. This was inevitable. Gary Cohn should have known better than to join that circus in the first place.
@PISonny (Manhattan, NYC)
Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive who became the top economics official in the Trump White House, was supposed to be among the sensible adults in the room. ------------------- Surprise, surprise: the Liberal New York Times thinks a former executive from greedy, grabby Goldman Sachs can be a SENSIBLE adult in the room. I am sure Poco Warren is not amused.
Robert (Out West)
You might find it amusante to count up the number of Goldman, Sachs execs that Trumpy hired, and then take a gander at the number working for right-wing libertarian politicoes. Maybe start with Ted Cruz' wife.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
Fleas leaving a sinking RAT. Seriously.
Bikebrains (Illinois)
Today is the best day in Putin's life since he helped get Trump elected.
Cody (Atlanta)
Gary Cohn has been at most an average...very average...economic advisor, and horrific on issues directly impacting poor, working class and middle class Americans...he’s done so little for so many that he won’t be missed. I do have compassion for him personally: his ‘brand’ and reputation are ruined by the company he’s kept this last year. But we won’t pine for him. Don’t let the door knock you over on the way out Gary...
Dennis D. (New York City)
Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" should be the theme song for this administration, a confederacy of dunces if ever there was one. Even so-called competent people, and I use the term loosely, like Cohn cannot manage to talk some sense into the densest chief executive ever. The US has a spoiled brat manning the ship of state, courtesy of enough voters to sway the Electoral vote their way. This basket of deplorable poorly educated gullible goobers somehow figured out in their pea-brains it was possible for a semi-literate snake oil salesman to run the most powerful country on Earth without skipping a beat. What could go wrong? DD Manhattan
Joseph M (Sacramento)
He's pretty much exhausted his circle of amateur hour fascists. Now he's ripe for takeover by the professional Republican fascists and its going to get a lot worse.
Milton Lewis (Hamilton Ontario)
Finally Cohn shows backbone. Where has he been? Too late to save his besmirched reputation.
Nancie (San Diego)
When can I stop calling Mr. Hoax president?
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
There were some "very fine" considerations on both sides of Gary Cohn's 2018 decision to Take The Money And Run. On the one hand, his Goldman Sachs boyfriends were counting on him to deliver the Grand Old Pirate gold, 0.1% tax-welfare and revamped income inequality that the 2017 GOP 0.1% Tax Heist Law delivered to them. On the other hand, there was the indignity of publicly holding hands with a racist Birther Liar and world-class Know Nothing who was fighting valiantly to win the nation's Worst President In History award. On the one hand, it was important for him handcraft a fake national infrastructure package that had one-eighth the federal funding in it than the funding just handed out to millionaires. On the other hand, it's important to sell the nation's infrastructure to investment bankers and Wall St. joint venture scammers so that future Gary Cohns will have no problem amassing $285 million by collecting tolls and rents on public property. On the one hand, it was critically important to save Wall St.'s sacred 'carried interest tax' tax discount for millionaires and billionaires even though his boss Donald, in a rare moment of truthfulness, had said in 2016 that "we will eliminate the carried interest deduction and other special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors, and for people like me, but unfair to American workers." On the other hand, Gary worships the joys of sociopathic Greed Over People as America's true exceptioni$m.
petronius (jax, fl )
Hey Socrates: Do not EVER stop writing. If only writing could change the trump W. H. Hey, maybe it can!
winchestereast (usa)
Gary Cohn. Made a career of taking risks with other people's money. Talked his way into a job for which he had no prior skill or experience. We're impressed. Impressed by his willingness to shill for a tax cut for billionaires, ignore his ignorant deviant POTUS on every other awful move against humanity. Cohn finds tariffs a bridge too far? Really? Dyslexia may not be Cohn's only flaw. The morally flexible Trump Administration loses one more creep. Big Deal.
Nancy (Great Neck)
Gary Cohn was after all able to preside over the successful effort to return deregulation to the largest of banks: Bernie Sanders @SenSanders I hear from a lot of people in Vermont and around the country. I have not heard one person say, "Bernie, we have got to deregulate 25 of the largest banks in this country with cumulative assets of $3.5 trillion." Yet that is what Congress is debating doing today. 1:09 PM - 6 Mar 2018
Kate (Austin, TX)
I am having trouble explaining this to myself. Most rational, intelligent people knew what Trump was before he was elected. Were they so enamoured of a cabinet post that they could not see what a black hole it was? Was it just greed and integrity and reputation be damned. Why would any rational person want to be associated with Trump? His reputation preceded him.
coale johnson (5000 horseshoe meadow road)
why? first of all they are not that smart. making a zillion bucks at goldman only means that they devoted all of whatever intellect they had to understanding the ebb and flow of money. after that? it is just plain old ego and greed. trump knows this and plays them for all they worth..... to him.
ad rem (USA)
My guess is that most decided to "take the money and run" while the gettin' was good.
Blackmamba (Il)
Gary Cohn took and gave up a job that he did not need for his and his families' food and shelter while expertly endangering the ability of 90 percent of Americans to have their food and shelter today and tomorrow. Instead of being part of any mythical Exodus, Mr. Cohn's historical expert historical avatar antecedents are the likes of Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Leon Trotsky, Albert Speer and Werner Von Braun.
Pedro (Arlington VA)
The final paragraph speaks to a frightening reality that could come at any moment: an genuine large-scale crisis, economic or otherwise, on top of the endless overflowing sewage show we've been watching since Jan. 20, 2017.
Larry (Oakland, CA)
"The Social Security Administration is still sending out checks...Medicare claims are being paid, and the courthouse doors are open to those seeking justice." Yeah, well just wait given that the administration is doing its damndest to return us to the age of robber barons and do away with all of the safety net. As to the courthouse doors, it's only if your the right color...immigrants responsibly going in for a hearing on their status get swept up by ICE.
Avatar (New York)
The Italians have a saying. "Il pesce puzza dalla testa." The fish stinks from the head. Trump's choices reflect his priorities, his ignorance, his bigotry, his conceit and his complete incompetence. Who's left on the economic team? Ross and Mnuchin neither of whom have the ability to negotiate a parking ticket let alone America's fiscal and economic policy. Good luck with that!
Eileen (Austin TX)
Maybe Mnuchin's wife will be the replacement!
Dori Sanders (Saratoga, CA)
I watched Secretary Ross on television. Does he know he is helping make policy in the 21st Century?
Steve Beck (Middlebury, VT)
In my view, economists and weather forecasters are from the same mold, and weather forecasters are doing a better job. Surely you jest with the comment that "no sound economist would risk his or her reputation by working in the administration." I am sure the administration will find someone and if they don't or can't I personally know a STRUMPY voter, wintering in Florida who would do the job, or any of the positions that have been abandoned. All he needs is access to a Trump golf course!
Ben S (Nashville, TN)
The editorial board ends this article on a hopeful note, and while I am attitudinally inclined to share that sentiment, I fear some of their hope is misplaced. I live in Tennessee, come from a conservative family, and am practically surrounded by people who support the president to varying degrees. Thus, I have something of a front row seat to Trump world. Do not underestimate the support this maniac has on the right. To any sane, clear-eyed, intelligent, thoughtful person the Trump administration is an unmitigated disaster. Even if you agree with the policies of the administration, the chaos now unfolding should make it obvious that he has no business in the White House. However, the Trump right-wing media is feeding their audience a steady diet of nonsense to allay the concerns of the base. I fear that by the time the midterm and presidential elections come around, the tribal instincts of the Republican party will be roused to a fever pitch by a drumbeat of fear and conspiracy on talk radio and Fox news. Do not underestimate the power of tribal thinking. Do not presume that everyone is as horrified by what is happening.
Eileen (Austin TX)
Alas, I agree with you here. I have several family members who are Trump supporters who listen constantly to Fox News. Fox News has slowly distorted their personality and ability to think objectively and critically examine facts that differ with the world of Fox News. I so hope we will see an enormous democratic voter turnout in 2018.
Billy Bob (Greensboro NC)
I agree with what you said-- the average trump follower dismisses real news as fake news, and don't try to argue with them in that there is only Trump speak here in the south.
Sheila (3103)
We don't underestimate the power of hate radio and media. We are scared, too, that so many Americans have been force-fed a diet of fear and anger by the GOP over the past 38 years (since Reagan's election) that now millions of Americans believe whatever these hatemongers feed to keep their fear and anger stoked. It's nice to hear that those in Republicstan are out there and see what we see. Do what you can to fight the nonsense and know we're here to support you.
Tim (The Berkshires)
Sarah Palin has all the credentials required by trump to be top economic adviser: none. Therefore, expect her to be appointed.
East End (East Hampton, NY)
President Trump really could make America great again. All he has to do is resign.
Carl LaFong (NY)
I resent the politicians and government appointees who just quit and decide not to fight Trump's ideology. Why don't people like Cohn, Jeff Flake, Corker, and even Al Franken stay and take up the mantle of the voice of the moderates?
SDowler (Durango CO)
It's a warning commentary on the state of the nation to confront this list of misdeeds by Cohn and yet call him "the adult in the room". Some applaud his departure but consider this: there are now only children in the room and they are in charge.
Andy (Tucson)
Don’t denigrate children look to Parkland, Florida, for hope.
Dadvocate (USA)
As I read plaudits for Mr. Cohn's one year long stint of public service, I'm reminded that his initial embrace involved implementing a brilliantly crafted 250 million dollar tax advantaged exit strategy from Goldman. After accomplishing that feat, he appeared to me to be an all too willing potted palm, waiting for a call (that never came) to ascend to the Fed. This "administration" is a one man show. Period.
JAM (Florida)
Gary Cohn was one of the Democrats in the White House. With Trump it does not seem to matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Whatever your political persuasion, it is a tough fit to work for Trump. It seems that loyalty only goes one way in this White House: Trump's way or the highway! Democrats Jerald & Ivanka should start packing. Even family members are not immune to the chaos that Trump creates all around him. Smart money says that they are the next to go.
CA Native (California)
That man in the White House is correct. There is no chaos in the White House. Unfortunately, KAOS seems to be running the administration, instead of CONTROL.
Carson Drew (River Heights)
Trump's EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, spent $25,000 of the taxpayers' money to have one of these installed. Hmmm.
Chris (Toronto)
Please hurry up Mr. Mueller. The exodus needs to include some higher-profile (or maybe just one) members of this administration. At some point you'd expect that intelligent elected Republicans interested in their self-preservation would have to split from Trump. Are there any? And how bad does this have to get before the tide turns?
B. Rothman (NYC)
Follow the Money and the money is supporting a President and the Congress ... right over the economic cliff, and like the last time, the banks will lead the parade.
IGUANA (Pennington NJ)
Speaks volumes that the one they call "Mad Dog" is what passes for "level-headed" in Donald Trump's administration.
R.P. (Bridgewater, NJ)
For some reason, the mainstream media is using the Cohn resignation to dredge up the false claim that Trump expressed sympathy for neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. He did nothing of the sort. His "very fine people" comment referred to marchers who were opposed to taking the statutes down but who were not marching with the neo-Nazis. And it's indisputably true that "both sides" were engaged in violence at Charlottesville, with Antifa forces attacking the neo-Nazis and vice versa. Admittedly Trump did not say the proper things in the wake of Charlottesville, and did not act presidential, which you can fault him for, but claiming that he made comments supportive of white supremacists is blatantly untrue.
Steve Ell (Burlington, Vermont)
The latest departure is just another scene in another act of bad opera. What comes next will likely be worse. I hope Mr. Mueller will perform the last aria apace and bring the curtain down on this production, which should never be brought to the stage again.
KnightinRustyArmour (London)
This editorial completely misses the mark on Cohn. I think of him as a patriot and someone who has been trying to help make America better. Someone has to run the government regardless of how bad the president is. Mattis, McMaster, Haley, Wray and Tillerson, as well as thousands of officials in the various federal agencies, embassies and the military ably serve the country. Imagine if all 4 million federal employees downed tools just because they don't like Trump? Serving the country and serving the office of the presidency are noble missions. Please save the venom for the small coterie of hacks around Trump and Trump himself. Furthermore, the tax cut has increased the after-tax take-home wages of millions of working-class Americans. High earners in CA, NY and IL who now no longer have state tax deductions will see their taxes go up.
barbara jackson (adrian mi)
Meanwhile, what do the states do? Grab their shortfall make-up funds out of the blue states' treasury? Hey, California, the state every "heart"land state loves to hate, open up your golden gate - to your bank account . . .
Common Sense (New Jersey)
There are several serious problems with Trump's decision to end the SALT deduction while simultaneously giving away billions to CEOs and bankers: 1) Tax policy should never be an act of vengeance against states that don't vote for you. 2) By putting pressure on the states that are doing things right -- providing needed services to the poor -- the bill encourages a GOP-style race to the bottom, where states compete to see how fast they can shred their safety nets. 3) Blue states already contribute far more than their share to Washington, subsidizing rich agribusiness in western states (who now want to pillage federal lands for their own profits).
Joseph M (Sacramento)
if you itemize and you earn your money working you lost big. "High earners" who don't work for a living will see a big tax cut. You're pretty fake trying to pass this off as somehow progressive. When you mentally submit to Trump, of all people, what does that say about you?
Kate S. (Portland OR)
When Trump was in the private sector, it was rich entertainment to revel in his antics and masked failures. But now that he's our president, it is downright disturbing to be so privy to his disastrous whims. The government may still be working but at some point, even the departments most resilient to political weather will be subject to his gale force winds.
Rick (Louisville)
Nothing says "no chaos" like not having replacements ready to ensure a smooth transition when people exit.
Joanna Whitmire (SC)
It people with integrity stay, they are dumped on and called "sell-outs" for staying. But, we need to have people of integrity to stay to act as a bulwark against Trump's impetuosity. I feel a little safer knowing the generals are there.
doug (sf)
...because the generals were so effective, upright and honest in Vietnam, Iran and Afghanistan? Because they are trained by progressive, thoughtful, open-minded teachers at West Point? Because they so successfully lobby for billions more dollars of defense spending at the expense of infrastructure and healthcare for Americans and then manage to squander those dollars on updating antiquated weapons systems? Yeah, so glad we have the guys who've dedicated their lives to a rigid, authoritarian killing machine helping to run our government. It is very comforting.
David (California)
Loyalty to Trump is more important than loyalty to the country, the Constitution and the rule of law. One cannot "carry on" pretending that you can be loyal to both.
Tobias (Mid-Atlantic)
It's funny how the only argument left in favor of service in the Trump Administration is that "your country needs sane people to mind the President."
Nancie (San Diego)
It's a mess. In the meantime, we have millions (350,000,000 last I heard) of handguns and automatic war weapons in the hands of who? In the meantime, Stormy files a lawsuit against a climate change denier. In the meantime, our embassies are understaffed. And in the meantime, we have Ivanka and Jared and Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne. It's a mess.
Duncan Lennox (Canada)
" And in the meantime, we have Ivanka and Jared and Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne." Question: Kellyanne worked for Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential primaries and now Cruz must get re-elected in 2018 as a Texas senator. Will she leave the WH to help Cruz survive the Republican senatorial primary and in the 2018 election or will she ignore the 2nd most unpopular man in DC and stay in the WH ?
Elizabeth (Athens, Ga.)
It well may be that many civil servants are doing their jobs admirably under undoubtedly stressful conditions. Unfortunately, Congress has abdicated theirs. Until the leadership, yes, McConnell and Ryan, decide to spine up and do what the Constitution charges them to do and what they have taken an oath to do, we will continue to have chaos in the White House. This may be a strange thing for a liberal to recommend, however, it would be prudent to pick up a copy of Sen. Jeff Flake's book, "The Conscious of a Conservative" and pay attention. I would hope that he would provide it for all members of Congress. He proposes the changes that could actually make America Functional Again if not Great.
barbara jackson (adrian mi)
The people you have mentioned have rewritten the Constitution to their liking . . .
‘Yet the disarray in the administration has, thankfully, not infected many of the core functions of the government carried out by dedicated and professional civil servants.’ Some of functions have already been affected (eg State Department cuts and vacancies) and will inevitably become more and dysfunctional as time goes by.
aghast a (New York)
I do disagree with your assessments of what constitutes "some'. A fews but not many! The jobs and roles which are to help the individual Americans has been either gutted and/or headed by a nincompoop or just a name that no one has vere seen. HORRENDOUS and if Trump gets re=elected or if a Republican gets re-elected to the presidency or Congress, we should all move to the moon or mars.
alderpond (Washington)
Spot on! Trump has singlehanded destroyed the government and once we get rid of this criminal, it will take years to restore our government to its normal level of operation.
aghast a (New York)
Ya heard the president, the only one who counts is himself. he is the emperor and he is the only one who counts. He is smarter than anyone, the best deal maker, the most knowledgeable and does not need the daily briefings because Russia did not collude. he won the presidency by a majority of the electoral votes but not the majority of the popular vote because Clinton cheated. Hold on to your hats and wallets folks because he is beginning to run amok.
Mark R. (Bergen Co., NJ)
Only "beginning?" Where have you been for the past year and change?
Jay Gregg (Stillwater, OK)
“beginning” ?
barbara jackson (adrian mi)
Let's hope the 'amok' he's running in is quicksand . . .
barbara jackson (adrian mi)
I think the trump is having the time of his life 'pulling the legs off important flies.' By the time he leaves office, not a sacrificial lamb will remain standing.
jjcomet (undefined)
I, for one, would prefer that instead of "pulling the legs off important flies," he spend his time trying to accomplish something other than being as petty and vindictive as possible. The man has no idea what to do as President, no plan whatsoever, and the only halfway competent people he chose for his administration have quit because of what a circus sideshow it is. His only motivations in life are self-enrichment, self-aggrandizement, and the settling of pretty scores. By the time he leaves office, our democracy may not be standing since the American people chose to elect an 11-year old to the highest office in the land.
David (California)
Good chance he'll be leaving office in handcuffs, and won't be having the time of his life.
Marilyn P Mueller (Alpharetta, GA)
Hope springs eternal, David!
steve (hoboken)
I guess tolerating Trumps endorsement of Nazis was just a little more palatable than his policy on steel and aluminum tariffs. Better late than never.
BigFootMN (Minneapolis)
"Better late than never." No, that should be "Better NEVER than ever." And that includes this whole fiasco that is the tRump administration.
akhenaten2 (Erie, PA)
The Constitution itself remains the best defense *against* this monstrous person in the Oval Office, undeserving of a designation of "our" president. He and his ilk do deserve to be gone through all lawful means, a.s.a.p.
Mark (California)
The best defense against a tyrannical american government is not to have one. #calexit
Sady (SC)
Oh, Puleeze, the monstrous person in the oval office was Obama, who had no respect for the Constitution.
Tobias (Mid-Atlantic)
There's simply no point in bringing up Obama in a discussion of Trump's relationship with the Constitution. Trump gives no evidence of ever having read the Constitution or of supporting any of the principles of our foundational law. He's been violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause since Day One, for starters.
Chinh Dao (Houston, Texas)
Cohn's departure is inevitable. Trump's definitions of talents and loyalty are abnormal.
RNS (Piedmont Quebec Canada)
Relax. Newly appointed economic advisor Eric Trump will do just fine.
Jon Babby (Cleveland)
. . . They came for the Jews, and I did not speak out even though I am a Jew. They came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out because I was not am immigrant. Then, they proposed a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% percent one on aluminum, so I decided I would be a profile in courage and I quit while praising them.
Mark (Chevy Chase, Md)
Would Larry Kudlow serve as the White House’s top economic adviser? Perhaps, but he may ask to change the title to - Dean of Vodoo Economics.
Crystal (Wisconsin)
Please, I think we've had enough media "personalities" to last us till the end of time.
See also