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Your Take: Do You Check Off $3 To The Presidential Fund?

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When you go to do your taxes this year, you will have the option to give three of your tax dollars to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. $3 isn’t deducted from your refund or added to your tax bill, $3 from your taxes is simply allocated for the fund. The money is used to in the party nominating conventions, presidential primaries, and then the general election every four years. It was created by Congress in the 1970s as a matter of campaign finance reform as candidates who accept financing have to follow certain fundraising and total spending rules. If you remember, it was a big deal when then presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama opted out of public financing.

If you want to learn more about it, I may recommend the Federal Election Committee website where you can find all sorts of campaign finance gems.

My question to you is do you check off $3 to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund? When I first started filing my taxes, I didn’t because I erroneously thought it meant I would be personally donating $3. After I learned it wouldn’t actually cost me $3, I thought it was absurd that we would give even more money to spend on political campaigns. However, as I read more, I realized that forcing candidates to take public financing puts a cap on how much they can spend. I don’t claim to be an expert but I think that’s a good thing.

What do you think?

{ 70 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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70 Responses to “Your Take: Do You Check Off $3 To The Presidential Fund?”

  1. eric says:

    Hmm I haven’t done it.

  2. javi says:

    Never have, never will.

  3. I don’t contribute. I think that the candidates should use their campaign donations for these expenses. I don’t see how public financing of campaigns is reform.

  4. Bucksome says:

    I have checked the box in the past, but am rethinking it.

    It really is supporting the two party system which I would like expanded to at least three viable parties.

    Good question, not sure what I’ll do when I file.

  5. No to the $3fund says:

    I, as most people believe, think our tax dollars should strictly go directly to support the US Federal Government Tax funds. We dont want our money diverted to help finance public campaigns for these politicians or leaders, that may or may not be our chosen one. These politicians should not use my hard-earned money and tax dollars for their cause. As always, I check NO.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I never knew that about the $3…I always read it as an additional to clause. It would be nice if there were more check boxes like the political campaign one. $10 for health care reform, $5 for national parks, etc…

  7. Izalot says:

    I learned something new! Wouldn’t it be great if there were more check boxes like this one: $5 for national parks, $7 for alternative fuels, $10 for health care reforms, etc…

  8. billsnider says:

    I don’t trust the fat cats in washington. Why give thjem $3 more to spend?

  9. Soccer9040 says:

    No – and I dont think I ever will. There are other things that this small amount could go to.

  10. Darin says:

    Either way, you could have just been Barack Obama and actively turned off the credit card address verification and potentially received contributions from foreign interests and those who wanted to skirt the contribution limits. I don’t know any valid reason for them to actively turn the address verification system off…

    • tbork84 says:

      Thats very true. Not to mention that he bowed out of the funding that this $3 would go to since he knew he could raise more money outside the public funding system.

      Note that BHO said he would use the public financing for his campaign only weeks earlier during the primary. Oh well, one year into it and we reap what we have sown.

  11. JOHN says:

    IF THE MONEY IS NOT USED, WHERE DOES IT GO??
    ANOTHER RAINY DAY FUND TO PROMOTE SOME GRANDOISE PROGRAM TO BENEFIT SOME POL IN THEIR
    STATE FOR REELECTION.
    OR DOES IT GET LOANED TO THE GENERAL FUND, SUCH AS HAS HAPPENED TO SOC. SEC. AND MEDICARE, OR DOES IT JUST DISSAPEAR

  12. Daddy Paul says:

    No I would never check off that box. I do not want to pay for some ones ad.

  13. ziglet19 says:

    I have never checked it because I thought it was an additional $3. Like other posters, I wonder where the $3 goes if we don’t check the box?

    • I think people are looking at this question backward.

      If you DO check the box, the money goes somewhere (to the matching funds).

      If you DON’T check the box, the money stays where it was in the first place (the general fund, I assume). It doesn’t “go” anywhere.

  14. JNichols84 says:

    I learned something new here as well. I was under the misconception that it was an ADDITIONAL $3. Now that I know better, I agree with some other responses, that there should be a few additional boxes for things like healthcare reform and national parks. Now I guess I’ll have to pay more attention to which party is supporting my interests! :)

  15. BrianC says:

    Hmm…I guess I’ve always misunderstood that $3 checkbox as well. Thanks for the clarification.


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