Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone is in hot water after accusing food stamp recipients of using the government-issued funds to buy drugs and get high.
“Hell, people use food stamps to buy marijuana — that’s illegal — or cocaine, or whatever the hell else people use to get high,” Langone said. “How do we make sure that we do not take a system that is well-intentioned that becomes badly abused?”
Langone made the comments during an appearance on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Wednesday, May 24, where he discussed President Donald Trump’s recent $4.1 trillion budget. The plan includes a significant increase in military/defense spending, but proposes a more than $800 billion cut to Medicaid over the next 10 years. Moreover, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps, also stands to lose close to $200 million under the president’s budget.
“How do we make sure that food stamps are being used for what they’re called, food?” Langone asked. “And this, to me, is part of the problem.”
In January 2016, a reported 45 million Americans were participants of the SNAP program, according to SnaptoHealth.org. Approximately 75 percent of Americans who are eligible for the program utilize it.
It should be noted that SNAP cards can only be used to purchase food items, unlike EBT cards that allow recipients to withdraw cash if they wish to buy other items.
Langone’s comments drew immediate backlash, as critics took to social media to call for a boycott of the Home Depot.
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 24, 2017
@KennyLangone shameful what you said about food stamps. Live In NC and will encourage everyone I know to boycott Home Depot. Disgusting.
— Julie M Lupella (@j_lupella) May 24, 2017
@mmfa Okay I shop Lowes from now on. I spend tons there…no more home depot@
— deborah (@deborahc613) May 24, 2017
Boycott Home Depot. There are other places to go. https://t.co/UM5bv6UYfp
— The Elephant Watcher (@ElephantWatcher) May 25, 2017
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson also came under fire this week for suggesting that poverty was a “state of mind.”
“You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while, they will be right back up there,” Carson said during a Sirius XM radio interview Wednesday. “And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you could give them everything in the world, [and] they’ll work their way right back down.”
HUD is slated to lose nearly $6 billion under President Trump’s proposed budget.