Home » Home Depot co-founder wrecks Bernie Sanders’ 32-hour workweek plan, invokes bank robber Willie Sutton

Home Depot co-founder wrecks Bernie Sanders’ 32-hour workweek plan, invokes bank robber Willie Sutton

by Marko Florentino
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Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone fired back at Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., after he proposed a 32-hour workweek and rehashed his tax-the-rich mantra in recent days.

Langone — who co-founded the home improvement chain with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and right-leaning investor Bernie Marcus — suggested Sanders is simply pursuing those who have more money than others.

“We’re always a target,” Langone told “Your World.” “Willie Sutton said, ‘Why do you rob banks? That’s where the money is.’ You’re not going to get money from people who are struggling.”

Sutton, who died in 1980, robbed millions from banks and escaped prison multiple times throughout the early 20th Century.


Langone said he has no issue with paying more taxes but instead countered the money should be spent responsibly. He ridiculed the U.S. Treasury for sending billionaires like himself and his wife Social Security checks that were originally intended for people in greater need, while politicians like Sanders simultaneously clamor for the rich to “pay their fair share.”

“I read something the other day — $15 million [appropriated to the study of] some bee or some bug — this is nuts…,” Langone said. “My problem is what they do with the tax money they get. Pardon me — they piss it away.”

“If you told me that they were going to raise my taxes, and then we’re going to take the proceeds of that tax increase and pay down the national debt — give it to me, baby. I’ll take that every time.”

Langone said Sanders’ 32-hour workweek plan is just the latest proposal that leads him to his belief that Home Depot could not have been successful if it were founded today, given the regulatory environment.


“We have 3,000 kids that started out pushing carts in the lot — today, they’re multi-millionaires. They’re the guys that Bernie Sanders wants to go after,” he added.

“A 32-hour workweek raises labor costs directly 20%. Why? Because the eight hours they’re not working you’ve got to hire somebody else… You’re not going to squeeze 40 hours into 32 hours. That’s slave labor if you do that,” Langone argued, adding that the only way to account for the lost labor is through price hikes or other inflationary forces.

“Who always pays for it at the end? The consumer,” he said

Langone contended that Sanders is frequently hypocritical in his tax-the-rich musings, noting the Vermont lawmaker himself is a multi-millionaire.

“His wife broke a university. I mean, this is hypocrisy,” Langone added, referring to Jane O’Meara-Sanders’ handling of the now-defunct Burlington College, including a land deal that fell under federal investigation while serving as its president.


Langone said left-wing policies like those proposed by Sanders have destroyed the ability for the working class to get a leg up or for entrepreneurs to establish future commercial titans like Home Depot.

“Food costs are up 15% in the last two years. Who’s getting hit? The person making $75,000 a year or less,” he said. “These are the people that get punished. Inflation is the most regressive tax of all, and people don’t seem to understand this 32-hour workweek — the costs have to be passed on or the businesses that absorb those costs will no longer be attractive for investment because they won’t be.”

Langone quipped there is no “magic machine” that can compress eight fewer hours’ worth of labor into profits equivalent to the whole 40 hours.

While fellow GOP donor and Home Depot co-founder Marcus has pledged to support Trump even if convicted in his many trials, according to Reuters — with the mogul claiming many of the charges are “all trumped up,” Langone remains cautious.


He said he was encouraged by Trump’s clarification that his “revenge” pledge was meant to express a “revenge” sought through public policy that helps the American people rather than personal vendetta, but remained critical of the presumptive GOP nominee’s behavior.

“I can only use words that would be pejorative, and I don’t choose to do that,” he said. “What do we have, 340 million people in this great country, and these are the best two [nominees] we can come up with?” he asked.

“The people that control the Republican Party have to ask themselves the question, how is Trump able to hijack the party?”

Langone underlined he is not yet ready to pledge his support for Trump. 

“As of right now, my vote stands the way it is, for my dearly beloved wife, Elaine.”

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