When President Ronald Reagan in 1984 designated the month of July as National Ice Cream Month and declared the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day, he probably never could have foreseen a time when flavors of the treat included Pork Rind, Strawberry Durian or Squid.
Ice cream shops around the country will be celebrating their special day again this Sunday, July 19. Carvel stores will be offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on any size or flavor of soft-serve cones. Friendly’s is celebrating its 80th birthday this weekend, with participating stores also offering buy-one-get-one-free deals. Baskin-Robbins is offering a free upgrade to waffle cones with double scoops during the entire month of July. It also will offer 31 percent off all its ice cream sundaes on Friday, July 31.
Those chains offer a wide variety of flavors, but probably nothing quite as exotic as the OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in New York City, known for formulations loaded with unusual ingredients: Edamame, Chorizo Caramel Swirl, Cornbread and Maple Bacon Pecan. OddFellows co-owner Mohan Kumar says National Ice Cream Day will be just a regular Sunday for him and his stores: “It’s a beautiful day for ice cream every day.”
As you consider indulging in a frozen snack, here are some fun facts to fuel our red hot passion for ice cream:
Who Screams for Ice Cream: California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas and New York are the states that consume the most ice cream. California also produces the most ice cream—over 142,000 gallons every year. About 10.3 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to make ice cream. The five most popular brands in the U.S. are private labels, followed by Blue Bell, Haagen-Dazs, Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, vanilla is America’s favorite flavor of ice cream, followed by chocolate. And how’s this for being ice cream crazy? Ben & Jerry’s employees get three free pints a day. They also get a free gym membership.
Hard Facts About Soft Serve: Despite many headlines to the contrary, it does not look like former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher invented soft-serve ice cream before she became known as the Iron Lady. The honor instead goes to Tom Carvel of Carvel ice cream or Dairy Queen co-founder J. F. McCullough. In Carvel’s case, his ice cream truck got a flat tire in Hartsdale, New York, in 1934. As the ice cream started to melt, he noticed its soft, creamy consistency and began selling it right from the truck. Two years later, he opened his first Carvel shop at the site where the truck first broke down.
Why We’re All Coneheads: Italo Marchiony, an Italian immigrant, was granted a patent for waffle-like ice cream cups in New York City in December 1903. But he may not be the father of the cones we enjoy today. As the story goes, Arnold Fornachou, an ice cream vendor at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, ran out of dishes. His neighbor, a Syrian man, was selling crisp, Middle Eastern pastries called Zalabias. When rolled up, the waffle-like Zalabias made a perfect cone to hold the ice cream. The International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers and the International Dairy Foods Association credit Ernest A. Hamwi, the pastry maker, with creating the cone, but others have also claimed credit — including Abe Doumar, another Syrian immigrant at the 1904 fair who would go on to produce the first machine to mass-produce ice cream waffle cones.
Ahead of a House Ways and Means Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation prepared an analysis of the distributional effects of the 2017 Republican tax bill. The New York Times’ Jim Tankersley highlighted the fact that according to the JCT analysis, about 75 percent of the individual and business benefits of the tax cuts will go to filers earning more than $100,000 in 2019. And nearly half of the benefits will flow to filers earning over $200,000.
President Trump’s 2020 budget includes up to $1.2 trillion in “potentially phantom revenues” — money that comes from taxes the administration opposes or from tax hikes that face strong opposition from businesses, The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin reports, citing data from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That total, covering 2020 through 2029, includes as much as $390 billion in taxes created under the Affordable Care Act, which the president wants to repeal.
The $1.2 trillion in questionable revenue projections is in addition to the White House budget’s projected deficits of $7.3 trillion for the 10-year period. That total is itself questionable, given that the president’s budget relies on optimistic assumptions about economic growth and some unrealistic spending cuts, meaning that the deficits could be significantly higher than projected.
Ben Ritz of the Progressive Policy Institute slams President Trump’s new budget:
“It would dismantle public investments that lay the foundation for economic growth, resulting in less innovation. It would shred the social safety net, resulting in more poverty. It would rip away access to affordable health care, resulting in more disease. It would cut taxes for the rich, resulting in more income inequality. It would bloat the defense budget, resulting in more wasteful spending. And all this would add up to a higher national debt than the policies in President Obama’s final budget proposal.”
Here’s Ritz’s breakdown of Trump’s proposed spending cuts to public investment in areas such as infrastructure, education and scientific research:
Since roughly the end of World War Two, individual income taxes in the U.S. have equaled about 8 percent of GDP. By contrast, the Tax Policy Center says, “corporate income tax revenues declined from 6% of GDP in 1950s to under 2% in the 1980s through the Great Recession, and have averaged 1.4% of GDP since then.”