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How to Lie with Oreos
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Via Jill, here's a nice little misleading bit of propaganda from Ben Cohen, of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.

In the cute animated clip, Ben uses Oreo(TM) cookies (not generic ones) to illustrate the Federal Budget and what "we spend" on various things like the military, education, and world hunger.

This will probably be more effective if you go watch the movie now, then come back.

Now then...Ben says the budget for the Pentagon is $400 billion, and that if one cookie represents $10 billion, that's 40 cookies. What we spend on K-12 education is only 3 1/2 cookies in comparison.

But that's bullshit, you see.

Ben makes it sound like that's all that gets spent on education, but that's all that the Federal government spends on education. According to the Nation Center for Education Statistics, in fiscal year 1999-2000, the total amount spent on K-12 education was around $373 billion, or over 37 cookies. Why the discrepency?


By far, the greatest part of education revenues came from nonfederal sources (state, intermediate, and local governments), which together provided about $346 billion, or 92.7 percent of all revenues. The federal government contribution to education revenues made up the remaining $27 billion.


That's why.

And how much of state and local funding go toward Pentagon expenses? Hmm.

So as a nation, the gap between military spending and education spending really isn't that large...at least not as large as Ben would have us believe. That doesn't necessarily mean that we shouldn't be spending more on education and less on the military.

It just means that Ben Cohen is a deceitful shit.

Have a nice day...and eat more Blue Bell.


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