News & Politics

Ben and Jerry's Co-Founders Say Tax Cuts Don't Help Businesses Expand: 'It's a Lie'

Photo credit: Nicholas Ballasy

WASHINGTON — In a video interview, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, said tax cuts do not help businesses grow, calling the concept a “myth.”

Cohen and Greenfield were asked if the business tax cuts signed by President Trump have helped Ben & Jerry’s as a company.

“It makes zero impact. You know, businesses make profits, businesses expand without regard to the tax system. There’s no business ever that has not expanded because, ‘oh, I’m only going to make 30 cents on the dollar instead of 50 cents on the dollar.’ I mean, you’re still making money. You’re still making a profit,” Cohen said after Ben & Jerry’s unveiled a new ice cream flavor on Tuesday called Justice ReMix’d as part of a criminal justice reform initiative.

“I mean, Ben & Jerry’s started out where we were paying loan interest rates of 20 percent because that’s the best ones we could get. We still took the loans. We still made money. This idea that if you raise taxes on businesses they are not going to hire people or they’re not going to grow or expand is a myth. It’s a lie. It’s not true,” he added.

Greenfield said he agreed with Cohen’s assessment. When asked if they would support eliminating the new lower tax rates in the GOP tax reform package, which some Democrats have advocated for, Cohen replied, “Absolutely I’d support it. You know. I mean, you’ve got to keep in mind these are marginal tax rates that we’re talking about. People aren’t taxed on every dollar.”

Cohen mentioned that the top income tax rate was much higher under former President Ronald Reagan. While Reagan was in office, Congress reduced the top income tax rate from 70 percent to 50 percent. In 1986, the rate dropped to 28 percent. Cohen and Greenfield, who recently appeared at a rally for Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), were asked if they think the top tax rate should return to 70 percent.

“It’s a little beyond me. I’m not an economist. All I know is that the tax cuts that just happened under Trump, I think, were detrimental to the country,” Cohen said.

According to Ben & Jerry’s, part of the proceeds generated from the new Justice ReMix’d flavor will go to the Advancement Project National Office, which works on criminal justice reform issues.

“I went to school. I put my hand over my heart and I repeated the words ‘and justice for all, and justice for all, and justice for all.’ And I believed it and I was proud of the country I was a part of that, had those values and now I’m grown up and I know it was a lie. I was brainwashed and now I’m pissed off. I’m burned up and I’m outraged. We were all brainwashed,” Cohen said at a press conference.