Ben & Jerry's co-founder on why he's backing Bernie Sanders

Ben Cohen weighs in on 'Your World'


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 1, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, there are a lot of eclectic supporters, and passionate at that, for Bernie Sanders, including all the way from Vermont, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's fame.

In fact, that esteemed ice cream company has come out with a special flavor and brand in honor of Bernie Sanders. But let's just say Ben Cohen is an unrepentant liberal, Bernie Sanders supporter, and had no apologies for it when I caught up with him earlier today on FOX Business.


CAVUTO: Bernie Sanders has backed off advocating a 90 percent top tax.  But he used to say that.

What is a fair top tax rate to Ben Cohen?

BEN COHEN, CO-FOUNDER, BEN & JERRY'S: To be quite frank, for a person who is wealthy, who has got enough money to meet all their needs, what's the difference what it is?


CAVUTO: Well, it makes a big difference, right?

COHEN: What's the difference?


CAVUTO: It makes a big difference whether you're paying 40 percent or 60 percent or 70 percent. Right?

COHEN: How many mega-yachts are you going to buy?

CAVUTO: Wait. Are you saying that everybody who is in the percent, -- they're not all buying mega-yachts -- or in the 6 percent -- mega-yachts.

So, if you leave the mega-yacht, the billionaire crowd out of it, what is a fair top rate?

COHEN: You know, I don't know.

I don't know what the right number is. It's a number that allows country to provide a college education for all those people who deserve to have one, regardless of income. It's a number that allows us to rebuild our infrastructure and create millions of jobs by doing that.

It's the number that is needed in order to get America working again for working people.

CAVUTO: Do you think then the middle class should pay more as well? To give Bernie Sanders his due, he must have realized that to do a lot of the things you just spoke about, college education, other benefits, that you can't get all that money just zapping the super rich.

So, he was advocating hiking taxes for the middle class. He seemed to be saying you can't do that -- no, no, you can't do just going after the rich.  Do you agree with that?


COHEN: Well, I mean, he is talking about the cap on Social Security.

CAVUTO: But he was talking a general middle-class tax hike as well, but he did posit it that they would get far more back in benefits from the government and the help from the government than what they're paying in.

That's debatable, depending on who you talk to, but are you OK with that?  Because there are a lot of people, Ben, who don't have a great deal of faith in government and how it goes about running and doing things.

COHEN: Yes, but what this is in relation to is his universal health care plan.

And what it shows is that the homeowner has a net gain that today you're paying whatever you're paying for your own health insurance. Under this system, you would pay a tax that pays for the health insurance, but it's less than what you are currently paying.

CAVUTO: Does it bother you that so many wealthy people, so many 1 percenters, love your ice cream?


COHEN: No. I think anybody can love our ice cream.


CAVUTO: You're OK with..

COHEN: Any income level, I think...

CAVUTO: So, if you knew that Ted Cruz -- if you knew that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were eating your ice cream by the bucket, you would be OK?

COHEN: I would say, more power to you, and may your life be sweet and happy.



CAVUTO: They're all paying customers, right?

Ben Cohen, all right.

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