Home Depot founder Ken Langone tore into President Joe Biden this week over his mismanagement of the economy amid soaring inflation, emphatically calling the president “worse than Jimmy Carter.”
Carter, the 39th president, is often cited as an unsuccessful Democratic president whose own inflationary crisis catapulted Republican President Ronald Reagan into the Oval Office.
Speaking with Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday, Langone decried the president’s economic failures, specifically citing his refusal to acknowledge rising inflation as a lasting problem early in his presidency. Biden famously called inflation “transitory” last year.
“This was not transitory, this was a real, serious case of inflation,” Langone charged. “We lost a whole year on addressing the issue. Only because, frankly, we have leadership today in America that isn’t willing to admit when they’re wrong. They made a terrible blunder here, and now the price has got to be paid.”
The billionaire went on to suggest the only fix for the problem now is to tighten down the economy by raising interest rates.
He also slammed Biden’s stance on American energy independence, saying, “The other thing is we’ve exacerbated the problem. For example, the energy issue in America, we didn’t have to be deficient like we are. Hell, by now, that pipeline would have been almost complete.”
“And Biden’s now saying, he’s now blaming the oil companies. This is a disgrace,” Langone continued. “The oil companies are reacting to supply and demand. You’re going to see it in their earnings when their earnings come out. If they’re making all this much money, where are they in the numbers? It’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong,” he continued. “And nobody’s doing anything about it yet, in a way that going to address the issue.”
“The steps we’re taking right now will not help,” he said, adding, “And who’s going to get hurt? The little guy, the poor guy that’s living from paycheck to paycheck.”
Langone then predicted the brunt of a coming recession will likely hit sometime early next year, roughly nine or ten months from now.
Earlier this week, news broke that inflation hit a 40-year high in March, with consumer prices notching up 8.5% year over year.
But the numbers for producer prices were even worse, perhaps dispelling the notion that large businesses have been using the volatile economy to gouge consumers. The producer price index, which measures the prices paid by wholesalers, increased 11.2% from a year ago, CNBC reported.
What’s worse, according to CNBC, is that the producer price index is considered a forward-looking inflation measurement, as it tracks prices in the pipeline for goods and services that eventually reach consumers.
When Cavuto asked Langone if he thinks the president is reaching Jimmy Carter territory, the billionaire entrepreneur responded bluntly: “Oh, he’s worse than Jimmy Carter.”