Home Depot Co-Founder Langone: Obama’s Debt Plan Is ‘Generational Theft’

Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013 01:32 PM

By Glenn J. Kalinoski

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President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction plan is “generational theft on an enormous magnitude,” according to Ken Langone, co-founder of The Home Depot.

“If I have to give a talk, I ask people … if you had one meal left, and you had your grandchild with you, would you eat it or would you give it to your grandchild?” Langone said. “They all say, `I'll give it to my grandchild.’ Guess what? They're eating their grandchildren's breakfast, lunch and dinner right now, and they haven't been born yet.”

In addition, Langone told CNBC that the U.S. debt as a share of the economy will cause a fiscal storm.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

“The fundamentals haven't changed. ... And we don't know when the storm is going to hit," he said. “It has to happen. If you look at our debt to [gross domestic product], eventually you reach a point where there's no turning back."

He cautioned against being overly influenced by the run-up in stocks.

“You've got to look behind the numbers to ask what's happening,” Langone explained. “If you want yield, you're not going to find it in fixed income. So you're going the equity markets.”

As for investing, “I believe there are significant economic opportunities out there in spite of what’s going on, particularly among smaller companies,” he noted.

“You look at Parker Hannifin, you look at Caterpillar, you look at all these great American companies, it’s on the backs of these companies that [the United States] is going to come back,” Langone told CNBC. “Why? Because of quality products, solid management that is maniacal about costs so they’re going to be very competitive and first-class products.”

However, he cautioned against companies that receive government support.

“I don’t want the government near any business I’m in. If it takes doing business with the government to make money, I’d rather not [invest in it],” he said.

“This is the greatest country on Earth. We’re going to be fine,” he noted. “We’re going to go through some tough times, but we’re going to be fine.”

While stocks have soared 128 percent during the bull market that began in March 2009, equity guru Laszlo Birinyi, president of Birinyi Associates, expects the party to continue for only one to three more years.

He doesn’t pay attention to many of the fundamental factors that influence other prognosticators. Instead, he puts market statistics together with some of his own judgments, The New York Times reports.

“We don’t worry about the cosmic issues that a lot of people get concerned about,” Birinyi tells The Times. “We worry about the stock market ticker. And it’s telling us the market is going up.”

For one to three more years anyway.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

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