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Old 10-31-2011, 07:54 PM   #1
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Man Who States the Obvious

Deficit Super Committee a 'Charade': Ken Langone

Published: Monday, 31 Oct 2011 | 5:47 PM ET
By: Margo D. Beller
Special to

The congressional super committee trying to close the U.S. deficit is a "charade" because the members are more concerned about being re-elected, Kenneth Langone, a venture capitalist and co-founder of Home Depot, told CNBC Monday.

"What happened with Simpson-Bowles?" asked Langone, referring to the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-chaired by former senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. The group issued draft recommendations last year that were never formally approved.

"That was a perfect one. That was a home run. Here were two bipartisan guys, knowledgeable on the situation, no ax to grind, no election, no re-election…and guess what, nothing happened. Why is this any different?" Langone asked. There are 12 people on the super committee "and every one of them is going to ask, 'What does this do to my re-election chances?' It’s what it’s all about."

The supercommittee of six Republicans and six Democrats must find $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years by Nov. 23 or automatic cuts go into effect.

Langone was equally blunt on MF Global, calling its bankruptcy a "big yawn" because it is unlikely to have a major impact on the overall market.

"The guy running it had as much experience as anyone ... on Wall Street," he said of Jon Corzine, the ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs and former New Jersey governor. "He knew the ins and outs. He made a bet … He was the driver of that bet. You know what? That’s how the capital markets are supposed to work," Langone said.

The situation in Greece is "pretty simple stuff," he added. "What disturbs me is we’re making [the euro-zone crisis] more complicated than it needs to be."

Greece, like other members of the European Union, were restricted "on how much debt they could take on relative to their GDP," he explained. "What happened was, no one watched Greece."
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:56 AM   #2
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I have little confidence that anything good or productive will come from this "super committee". Without support from the President or enough of Congress to override a veto, I really don't see them pushing through severe and immediate spending cuts.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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I heard on CNBC last week from their guest, a Senator from Tennessee, that the super group is being partisan and will not make the big deal of 3Trillion. They might be lucky to come up with the 1.2T or whatever the minimum is, he said. Repubs aren't budging on the tax issues and Dems don't want to make bigger cuts.... Same ole same ole.
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