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HomeOff Topics News & Politics › Stop Bashing Business, Mr. President
10-16-2010 03:08 PM  8 years agoPost 1
CWALDO123

rrApprentice

Germantown , Tn - Shelby

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By KEN LANGONE
co-founder of Home Depot
Although I was glad that you answered a question of mine at the Sept. 20 town-hall meeting you hosted in Washington, D.C., Mr. President, I must say that the event seemed more like a lecture than a dialogue. For more than two years the country has listened to your sharp rhetoric about how American businesses are short-changing workers, fleecing customers, cheating borrowers, and generally "driving the economy into a ditch," to borrow your oft-repeated phrase.

My question to you was why, during a time when investment and dynamism are so critical to our country, was it necessary to vilify the very people who deliver that growth? Instead of offering a straight answer, you informed me that I was part of a "reckless" group that had made "bad decisions" and now required your guidance, if only I'd stop "resisting" it.

I'm sure that kind of argument draws cheers from the partisan faithful. But to my ears it sounded patronizing. Of course, one of the chief conceits of centralized economic planning is that the planners know better than everybody else.

But there's a much deeper problem than whether I am personally irked or not. Your insistence that your policies are necessary and beneficial to business is utterly at odds with what you and your administration are saying elsewhere. You pick a fight with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, accusing it of using foreign money to influence congressional elections, something the chamber adamantly denies. Your U.S. attorney in New York, Preet Bahrara, compares investment firms to Mexican drug cartels and says he wants the power to wiretap Wall Street when he sees fit. And you drew guffaws of approving laughter with your car-wreck metaphor, recently telling a crowd that those who differ with your approach are "standing up on the road, sipping a Slurpee" while you are "shoving" and "sweating" to fix the broken-down jalopy of state.

President Barack Obama during a September 20th town hall.
.That short-sighted wavering—between condescending encouragement one day and hostile disparagement the next—creates uncertainty that, as any investor could tell you, causes economic paralysis. That's because no one can tell what to expect next.

A little more than 30 years ago, Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Pat Farrah and I got together and founded The Home Depot. Our dream was to create (memo to DNC activists: that's build, not take or coerce) a new kind of home-improvement center catering to do-it-yourselfers. The concept was to have a wide assortment, a high level of service, and the lowest pricing possible.

We opened the front door in 1979, also a time of severe economic slowdown. Yet today, Home Depot is staffed by more than 325,000 dedicated, well-trained, and highly motivated people offering outstanding service and knowledge to millions of consumers.

If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it's a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive. Rules against providing stock options would have prevented us from incentivizing worthy employees in the start-up phase—never mind the incredibly high cost of regulatory compliance overall and mandatory health insurance. Still worse are the ever-rapacious trial lawyers.

Meantime, you seem obsessed with repealing tax cuts for "millionaires and billionaires." Contrary to what you might assume, I didn't start with any advantages and neither did most of the successful people I know. I am the grandson of immigrants who came to this country seeking basic economic and personal liberty. My parents worked tirelessly to build on that opportunity. My first job was as a day laborer on the construction of the Long Island Expressway more than 50 years ago. The wealth that was created by my investments wasn't put into a giant swimming pool as so many elected demagogues seem to imagine. Instead it benefitted our employees, their families and our community at large.

I stand behind no one in my enthusiasm and dedication to improving our society and especially our health care. It's worth adding that it makes little sense to send Treasury checks to high net-worth people in the form of Social Security. That includes you, me and scores of members of Congress. Why not cut through that red tape, Mr. President, and apply a basic means test to that program? Just make sure that money actually reduces federal spending and isn't simply shifted elsewhere. I guarantee you that many millionaires and billionaires will gladly forego it—as my wife and I already do when we forward those checks each month to charity.

It's not too late to include the voices of experienced business people in your efforts, small business owners in particular. Americans would be right to wonder why you haven't already.

Mr. Langone, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange and co-founder of Home Depot, is chairman of Invemed Associates.

Couldn't have said it any better

Hirobo Evo 50 ,Jr9303 ((( Are Those Things Hard To Fly ?? Nah !! Snicker )))

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10-16-2010 03:14 PM  8 years agoPost 2
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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Thanks. I doubt the anointed one bothered to read it since it points out the truth.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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10-16-2010 03:26 PM  8 years agoPost 3
fla heli boy

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cape coral, florida

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I love it when somebody with absolutely no business experience (which is the case with 90% of the Bozo's working with the Chief Bozo), give advice to and admonish wealthy, self made businessmen.

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10-16-2010 03:53 PM  8 years agoPost 4
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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His base is the ones who want a check from him. Thats why he won.

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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10-16-2010 03:55 PM  8 years agoPost 5
CWALDO123

rrApprentice

Germantown , Tn - Shelby

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This is all Obama is good for with his simple mind

Hirobo Evo 50 ,Jr9303 ((( Are Those Things Hard To Fly ?? Nah !! Snicker )))

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10-16-2010 11:45 PM  8 years agoPost 6
SSN Pru

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Taxachusetts

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except about the part about social security checks being subjected to a "means test".

That's Bullsh!t.

Social Security isn't a government handout. Workers pay into that their whole lives with the promise that they'll be given a check when they reach retirement. It's a forced savings plan. It's not a handout!

I wish people would stop portraying Social Security as a handout. I'm not saying that it's not broken because at this point, it's turned into a Ponzi scheme - the biggest in history in fact - and it needs to be fixed. The first step is removing the social security funds from the general funds.

Stupidity can be cured. Ignorance is for life!

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10-17-2010 12:01 AM  8 years agoPost 7
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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and it needs to be fixed. The first step is removing the social security funds from the general funds.
Well heck. Didn't you know that if you attempt to fix it, you are accused of starving the old people and throwing children into the street? As wrong minded as it is, and as irresponsible as it is, it has been a very successful tactic.

I gotta tell you, its going to take a strong leader to get America through this BS.

If its a strong leader on the left, we are all in very serious trouble. If its a strong leader on the right, he will be in very serious trouble.

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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10-17-2010 12:27 AM  8 years agoPost 8
FenwayRick

rrApprentice

Smyrna, De

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We need a dictator with true American morals to fix this mess.

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10-17-2010 12:41 AM  8 years agoPost 9
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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We need a dictator with true American morals to fix this mess.
That a bit strong. But, not far off the mark.

Hopefully, by 2012, we will have one.

But, I just don't see it in the present group thats out there.

The only way we can see another Reagan is if we, as Americans, feel a LOT MORE PAIN from the damage already done, and further pain from more damage that can be done. It has to get our attention in a very big way or we will just go to sleep again as voters. So far and for many years, we have been very sleepy.

We have spent to much time getting in touch with our feelings, or whatever they are. There is right and wrong, and in between an abyss filled with societies whiners, even people who claim that God does not exist and the Bible is full of fables, people who have inherited the luxury of safety and freedom while having done little to earn it, and asking for more. Those would be the tax eaters, and they are very quickly outnumbering the tax payers.

Thats an extremely dangerous situation for America. If you do not pay the price for freedom, in some way, then you will not respect it. We see that on a daily basis.

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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10-17-2010 03:25 PM  8 years agoPost 10
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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We need a dictator
Please, don't give the current bozos any ideas. They may declare a national emergency and bozo himself would declare himself president for life.

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

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10-17-2010 03:44 PM  8 years agoPost 11
fla heli boy

rrElite Veteran

cape coral, florida

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I've been waiting for that to happen....truly. And I would NOT put it past him. I can easily see some new tragedy befalling us and him making a power grab as a result. Not saying we would stand for it, but I could see it happening and a lot of people would be lining themselves up according to race.

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10-17-2010 06:17 PM  8 years agoPost 12
smallplanes

rrElite Veteran

S.C. ,SSA

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Obama could not run a 7/11 it took complete damn damn dumb azz'z to elect that dumb SOB. I vote for Ted Nugent. He is a real man that know how crap works.

Thanks to all that voted a damn dumb AZZ in the WHITE house.


Spectra G 26cc
Jewel
Bat 27cc
Trex 700<br

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10-18-2010 02:22 AM  8 years agoPost 13
drdot

rrElite Veteran

So. California, Orange County.

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fwiw..

Hey, Hey, Hey...Wait a minute!!...Don't you guys remember Oprah....??

"He's Brilliant!!!"

BC

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