New Bill Will Reportedly Let Taxpayers Bypass Democrats, Contribute Directly to the Border Wall


The Democrats aren’t going to use your taxpayer dollars to fund a wall along the southern border. If one representative has his way, however, perhaps you will be able to make the decision for yourself.

Rep. Mark Green, a Tennessee Republican, told Breitbart that he’s introduced the Dollars for the Wall Act, a piece of legislation that would allow people to donate to the project on their tax returns.

“Taxpayer dollars should never be used to advance political campaigns. But keeping Americans safe must be our #1 priority,” Green said in a media release.

“Americans spoke loud and clear in the 2016 election that we want a wall to secure our southern border. Congress has clearly been unable to get the job done. My bill will give every American the opportunity to directly help President Trump build the wall.”

The Dollars for the Wall Act works like this: If you’ve ever filled out a 1040 form, you’ve no doubt seen the part where you’re asked whether you want to donate a few dollars of your tax return ($3 for individual filers, $6 for joint filers) to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.

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Only 6 percent of taxpayers do, according to FiveThirtyEight. Whatever money is collected goes into a pool that matches presidential candidates’ own fundings — but only up until a certain point and with strings attached.

Former President Barack Obama eschewed the matching taxpayer funds back in 2008, becoming the first major party nominee to do so since the program started. His refusal is credited with his significant fundraising advantage over John McCain, who took the matching funds.

Do you support Rep. Green's legislation?

In 2016, The Washington Post reported, only one candidate — Martin O’Malley — took the matching funds.

In short, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund is kind of like ICQ: I mean, sure, it’s still around, but nobody’s using it in 2019 and it’s probably not getting a lot of funding.

So, why not allow a question on your 1040 that would allow your money to go toward building the border wall, instead? That’s what Rep. Green is proposing.

That’s Green’s plan, anyway. The likelihood of this happening, at least now, is roughly zero.

With 22 sponsors, Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Matt Gaetz of Florida are the two biggest names on the list in a Democrat-controlled House. Even if and when it shifts back to Republican hands, it’s worth noting that the GOP didn’t exactly do a bang-up job of getting wall funding when they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

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However, in the long term, it could be a potential way to get one source of funding, particularly when you consider the fact that other funding seems contentious and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund checkbox usually goes undisturbed.

It’s not going to be a cure-all or raise the tens of billions needed to complete the project. Given the fact that a judge ruled last week that the Trump administration can’t use Pentagon funding on the wall, the battle for funding is mostly going to be confined to the courts at this point.

In other words, getting real border security is going to be a much longer fight than Trump had anticipated.

That doesn’t mean that Republicans shouldn’t keep pushing for it. As Trump’s election in 2016 proved, the wall isn’t an issue that’s unpopular with American voters. Furthermore, the more ways we have to fund it, the sooner it will be completed.

However, I think the best part of this legislation — if it ever becomes law — will be seeing just how many people check that box on their tax return. Mortifying the liberals is almost as fun as owning them, after all.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture