Crowdfunding Trump’s Stupid Border Wall Is the Final Stage of MAGA Delusion | GQ
With Congress unwilling to appropriate the billions of taxpayer dollars Trump wants, some of his followers are moving on to the world’s most ambitious GoFundMe.
At first, you may remember, it was Mexico who was going to pay for the border wall; Donald Trump proclaimed that it would be so, often while jabbing a finger into the air, cajoling his acolytes into chanting it whenever the campaign rally got a little sleepy. Then, he clarified, Mexico was going to pay for the wall, but eventually, and in the meantime, taxpayers would be responsible for covering construction costs. Now, as this lame-duck Republican Congress balks at the prospect of allocating some $5 billion for a 1,954-mile glorified fence that was supposed to be free, we have arrived at the third and final stage of the MAGAsphere’s love affair with medieval fortification technology: asking tens of millions of Americans to donate to the government’s GoFundMe account.
On Sunday, New York Post contributor and noted blue-collar champion Michael Goodwin floated an ingenious solution to this wasteland of Trump’s broken promises: Why don’t we just raise the money for a “People’s Wall,” and do it outside the pesky confines of the constitutionally-enshrined congressional appropriations process? He began by discussing the aforementioned donations drive, but also suggested that the president look at legalizing and taxing marijuana; enabling retirees to donate from their IRA distributions; and, best of all, allowing workers to empty their 401(k) accounts on a tax-free basis for the purpose of building the wall. It is a quintessentially American plan: dying penniless to own the libs.
As is the case with all the most harebrained takes churned out by conservative media, Goodwin’s column earned him a Monday morning guest spot on Fox & Friends, where he was able to make his pitch directly to the show’s most famous viewer. “If the 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump each contributed $80, that would get you near the $5 billion mark,” he explained as Brian Kilmeade nodded thoughtfully. The two men went on to discuss the possibility of selling stadium-style ad space on the wall, because what company wouldn’t want to max out its marketing budget to emblazon its logo on a global symbol of oppression, xenophobia, and cruelty?
This idea, unfortunately, is not new. 31 U.S.C. § 3113 specifies that the Treasury may accept “gifts” only to reduce the national debt, but in Congress, Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn has introduced H.R. 5876, the “Border Wall Trust Fund Act,” which would create a statutory exception to this provision and allow generous donors to earmark donations for wall-erecting purposes. (Only in Paul Ryan’s Washington can a political party be so stridently against the concept of taxation, but happy to enable individuals to impoverish themselves at the expense of Donald Trump’s ego.) Ohio’s Warren Davidson has offered a similar measure, but Blackburn’s is better, because it also entails the creation of a commemorative display to honor the wall’s heroic boosters. The bill mandates that the display be at least one mile long, because anything less, of course, would be tacky.
As Godwin notes, for the last three months, an outfit called fundthewall.com has already been soliciting tax-free charitable gifts to help the Department of Homeland Security do what Congress will not. Thus far, the group has managed to raise a bit less than $150,000, which is a ton of hard-earned money and, at the same time, not even enough to elicit a sliver of color in the $450 million progress bar. The web site notes, with obvious pride and without a shred of irony, that their efforts to date are sufficient to build a span of wall shorter than a football field.
The president himself has yet to weigh in on this potentially lucrative new layer to his years-long grift on the American people, but at this point, it’s only a matter of the time he needs to catch up on his DVR queue. Then again, given that Donald Trump is worth an estimated $3.1 billion all by himself, and would sooner show up to work before 10 A.M. than bestow large sums of money on anyone with whom he hasn’t engaged in an extramarital affair, perhaps he’ll decide that this time, it’s wisest for him to keep quiet.
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