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

Posted By Jim On 02/05/2010 @ 7:10 am In Your Take | 70 Comments

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 [3].

If you want to learn more about it, I may recommend the Federal Election Committee website [4] 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?

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[3] presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama opted out of public financing: http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/stumper/archive/2008/06/19/the-problem-with-obama-s-public-financing-acrobatics.aspx

[4] Federal Election Committee website: http://www.fec.gov/

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