Ben Cohen: Time to Count and Reinvest the Oreos

Budgets & Funding
Ben Cohen

Dear Friend,

As co-founder and CEO of Ben & Jerry¹s, I saw that big business has gobs of money, and yes, I believe they should pay their fair share. However, the bank accounts of Fortune 500 companies pale in comparison to the US Treasury. In order to defeat poverty and financial instability we need to examine the federal budget. There is enough money to solve our fiscal problems simply by shifting already existing funds.

You may think of me as an ice cream guy, but I also care about excessive military spending. To use one of my favorite analogies, let¹s say that one Oreo represents $10 billion and that the $700 billion Pentagon budget is a stack of 70 Oreos. In comparison, the federal government spends just
four-and-half Oreos on education, half an Oreo on alternative energy, and a fraction of an Oreo on Head Start. If you take just seven Oreos out of the Pentagon budget, you could provide health care for all kids who don¹t have
it, AND you could provide college scholarships for all qualified students who can¹t afford to go, AND in ten years you could eliminate our need for Mideast oil through energy efficiency, AND you could repair and rebuild all
of our public schools, AND you’d still have money left over. This is not rocket science. We have enough cookies.

Right now we have a unique opportunity. Military spending is finally on the table as the Administration and Congress prepare to cut the federal budget and tackle our nation¹s staggering debt. Legislators must cut military
spending on Cold War weapons we will never use and instead fund urgent human and environmental needs. This is WAND¹s core mission. WAND trains a cadre of women state legislators to speak and write about Pentagon spending and the military industrial complex. WAND educates Congress about where to invest in real security through job creation and a smarter defense. WAND works with Chapters, activists and the public to build support for a values-based federal budget.

Today I am asking you to join me in supporting WAND. Friends of peace and real security everywhere have a voice. For 30 years WAND has led the chorus.  WAND is seizing this historic opportunity for real change. Each dollar you give to WAND amplifies a sensible voice in this vital conversation. Through WAND¹s webinars, action alerts, trainings and media work, the conversation will happen and real change can occur.

Share a cookie; save the world! Please give now.

Sincerely,

Ben Cohen

Phi Beta Iota:  Noted as well-intentioned and dangerously on the margin.  This is doing the wrong thing righter, as Russell Ackoff would say, or trying to influence a corrupt system as Buckminster Fuller would say.  Only Electoral Reform as the singular demand can accomplish what Ben Cohen righteously aspires to – reality based ethically grounded investing of the tax dollar, but without Electoral Reform, we are certain his aspirations will not be realized.