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Home Depot Co-Founder Ken Langone 'Can't Be More Excited' About Border Tax


Monday, 13 March 2017 01:21 PM

Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone threw his rousing support behind the controversial border tax provision of the House GOP corporate tax reform proposal.

It would be a "phenomenal engine for growth in America," he told CNBC.

"I can't be more excited about a border tax," Langone said.

The border tax would tax imports. He agrees with the notion that a border levy could boost the dollar and help negate the impact on American companies.

Advocates of the border tax argue that any burden on companies that rely heavily on imports would be offset by an increase in the dollar's value due to the policy, thus negating the need for importers to hike prices for consumers.

"On border adjustment tax, given that there is no specific tax legislation to react to yet, the company hasn't taken a position either way. We're on the sidelines until the details are more clear," a Home Depot spokesperson said.

Langone said about 20 percent of Home Depot's products are imported.

He applauded Donald Trump's efforts so far as president.

"The American people elected him president, in my mind, for one reason: they don't want incremental change. They want major change," said Langone, founder and CEO of investment bank Invemed Associates, specializing in health-care and high technology companies.

However, not all business gurus are as optimistic about the potential border-adjustment tax.

Trump is correct to criticize the House Republican plan to tax cross-border trade for being “too complicated,” said Larry Kudlow, who served as a senior economic adviser to Trump’s campaign.

"Anytime I hear, 'border adjustment,' I don't love it,” Trump recently told the Wall Street Journal.

The border adjustment tax is part of a plan by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to change the tax code in a sweeping overhaul. The levy is aimed at boosting U.S. factory production by taxing imports while exempting U.S. companies from taxation on their export revenues.

“Saying ‘imports are bad and exports are good’ — I think that's a lousy economic model. But unfortunately, it does have its followers,” Kudlow recently told CNBC.

Kudlow also dismissed the non-partisan Tax Foundation’s estimates that the border tax would raise about $1 trillion in revenue in the next 10 years.

“That is just nonsense,” Kudlow said. “I hate to say this, but it's ‘voodoo economics’,” he added, echoing a phrase that Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush used to criticize Ronald Reagan’s supply-side proposals during the 1980 election.

Kudlow, a Newsmax Insider and radio-show host, said tax policy should emphasize economic growth instead of meddling with global trade.

“It's a lousy reason to make tax policy — in this case stopping imports, subsidizing exports, on the basis of what I'm going to call the 'phony scorecard revenue issue,'” he said. “The way to make policy is: is it good for growth? Does it create new incentives? Will it help people, companies large and small, minimum-income wage earners, the biggest beneficiary of corporate tax reform?”

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Ken Langone threw his rousing support behind the controversial border tax provision of the House GOP corporate tax reform proposal.
ken langone, trump, border, tax
Monday, 13 March 2017 01:21 PM
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