A GoFundMe Has Raised More Than $1 Million for Trump's Border Wall

It's a bad idea in more ways than one.


K.C. Alfred/TNS/Newscom

Could a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border be built with private funds?

Short answer: Probably not. But that's not stopping Brian Kolfage Jr., a triple-amputee Air Force veteran and conservative activist. Kolfage, who has more than 97,000 followers on his public Facebook page, set up a GoFundMe page Sunday titled "We The People Will Fund The Wall."

"Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again," the fundraiser notes. "President Trump's main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he's followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still."

The campaign's current goal: a lofty $1 billion. While he's nowhere close to reaching that goal, more than 16,000 people have pledged upward of $1 million and counting. On GoFundMe's homepage, Kolfage's campaign was also one of the top fundraisers as of this afternoon.

He's not the first person to suggest that the border wall be built with private funds. "Why hasn't someone made a GoFundMe for Trump's wall?" conservative columnist Michael Goodwin asked in a Saturday article for the New York Post. Nearly 200 border wall crowdfunding sites already exist, The Washington Times reported yesterday. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, 21 percent of U.S. voters are willing to donate to build the wall.

In his campaign description, Kolfage cites a bill proposed earlier this week. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R–Miss.) that would fund the border wall with savings bonds Americans could purchase. "This is just one option" by which Americans could private fund the wall, Kolfage writes, and "there are others on the table being discussed."

This is as good a place as any to point out that people should be free to spend their money however they please. And Kolfage emphasizes that "if we don't reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny."

Still, even if people were to voluntarily give their own money, the wall would probably require lots of government action. That's because the federal government only owns about a third of the land on the southern border with Mexico. The rest, as Cato Institute immigration policy analyst David Bier noted in a May 2017 article for Reason, belongs to the states, Native American tribes, and private individuals. The government has only barely begin the long process of seizing the land on which the wall would be built.

There are a host of other reasons why building a border wall would be a bad idea. I won't get into all of them here, but you can click on this link to read about some of them.

Crowdfunding the border wall is also not likely to work. Kolfage calculates that if each of Trump's 63 million voters from 2016 gave $80, then a total of $5 billion would be raised for the wall. That is how much the president was threatening to shut parts of the federal government down over in recent days and weeks, but it's only a fraction of the total cost. Reason's Eric Boehm estimated in March that getting the wall up could cost up to $28 billion, which doesn't include the $48.3 billion in maintenance costs over the first decade.

So even if Kolfage was able to raise $5 billion, taxpayers would still be on the hook for the rest.

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  1. So even if Kolfage was able to raise $5 billion, taxpayers would still be on the hook for the rest.

    Sure, but that's standard government shenanigans. Use "stimulus" money to build stuff, then use the empty stuff to justify future budget increases.

    1. yes, we should instead spend billions and billions and billions to bail out progressive wet dreams of mass transportation like bullet trains in CA or waste even more funding bankrupt pensions for slackers for the chirren. At least a wall would give a big F'you to central America, something sorely needed after Obama's beta boy reign.

      1. After we TrumpfenFuhrer-Dick-Sucker, admirers of Dear Leader get off on our orgasms of admirations of Government Almighty, what's next on our hit parade? What is next for our bread and circuses, what next kindof red meat for the troglodytes? I would propose this:

        Then after that, Trump will figure out a NEW way to score points with his base...

        Anyone recall the Iran-Iraq wars of the 1980s? Lots of it was fought in low-laying salt-water marshes. Very tough terrain for Iraqi military vehicles... And it is expensive to bring in bunches of rocks or logs to raise up the mud to make roads. But there were BUTTLOADS of Iranian corpses just laying around for free! So the Iraqis just limed 'em up (for rot-proofing), and lined 'em up and laid 'em down to make roads! Lime 'em up, line 'em up, lay 'em down!

        So we can soon expect Der TrumpfenFuhrer to steal a page from the Iran-Iraq war! The Mexicans won't pay for His Walls?!? Make raids on Mexican peasant villages, round up conscript wall-building labor, and build the wall out of the limed-up corpses of illegal sub-humans!!! (Or at least the top-rim of the wall, for max psychological intimidation). For every American soldier killed in the effort, there will be reprisal shootings of 200 more illegal un-Americans!

        Don't say no one warned you of what is coming! Trump wants to "win" at any costs!

  2. Hey lc, how much did you contribute?

    1. You'll have to wait until he turns in the aluminum cans he picked up off the side of the road today.

      Then he has a few errands to run for his mom.

      It may be a little while yet.

      1. Picking up litter -- MAGA!

    2. Why would I contribute money when I pay taxes?

      I contact Trump and my Congressmen to give my support for completing the wall.

      I say "completing" because we have had some border wall for decades.

      1. You mean the same fence that Trump explicitly said wasn't sufficient anywhere?

  3. But just think of the multiplier effect! All those jobs in Mexican tunnel construction and ladder manufacturing!

  4. And Mexican president Obrador was the first to donate. Right? Didn't Trump promise that it was going to be Mexicans paying for this wall?

  5. Well that covers the first quarter mile.

  6. I think building a border wall is a bad idea. A complete waste of money in the best case.

    But the sad fact is that our political discussion on that broader issue - and those who have been doing the talking for a couple decades - is so dishonest, pandering, cronyist, and abusive of facts that it is completely reasonable for regular folks to just say to hell with you assholes who can't even discuss a simple solution. In that environment, I think a GoFundMe type of matching fundraising is a hell of a lot better than the elitist cramdown.

    It is really a shame that the issue was left to someone like Trump to run with.

    1. Congress even said they were going to build the wall, what, like 20 or 30 years ago? Then they promptly never funded it. It's something that apparently people want that they have no interest in doing so they say 'fuck it'.

      Perhaps the most bizarre thing of all, other than the simple lunacy of a 1900 mile long fence, is that this is the one public works project that the left doesn't want to waste a trillion dollars on.

      1. The secret to the whole thing is that mainstream Republicans want this wall as much as mainstream Democrats. Trump being neither due to his opposition to progressivism and global caretaking, didn't get support even with a majority. There's simply too much money to be had tinkering around the globe, creating migrants, and then taking them in, whether it be through a checkpoint or through the desert

      2. Perhaps the most bizarre thing of all, other than the simple lunacy of a 1900 mile long fence, is that this is the one public works project that the left doesn't want to waste a trillion dollars on.

        Clearly, the solution there is to make the wall wide enough at the top to run a bullet train on.

    2. "I think building a border wall is a bad idea. A complete waste of money in the best case."

      You need to educate yourself.

      Why Israel's Border Fence Worked

      1. Totally agree, ML. A good wall will work, which is precisely why the Dems and probably half of the Republicans in Congress don't want it.

      2. Israel should never be a model for the U.S., unless you are itching to live in an oppressive, theocratic police state. Israelis had no problem using the military to seize land from Israeli citizens, kicking them off their property at gunpoint. Personally, I cannot support that. The wasteful cost of taxpayer dollars is only part of the issue. We seem to ignore the fact that the Us-Mexican border has a massive amount of private property. Any country that would trade its principals for a bit of perceived security is not worth saving. Eminent domain is theft plain and simple. And Mexico cannot exactly be compared to Gaza or WB.
        You want to stop the flow of illegal immigrants overnight? Simply make it easier for them to immigrate legally, or obtain a non-immigrant working visa. Then anyone coming across anywhere but a POE can pretty much be guaranteed to be a criminal. This approach is not only in line with the principals of freedom of contract for employers to hire whomever they choose, but it costs us far less and doesn't require the forced removal of hundreds of U.S. citizens from their homes and ranches.

        1. Wow, you are extraordinarily dumb. Do walls work? Yes, yes they do. They work extraordinarily well, if done right. That's the point here. You can be an open borders freak all you want, but nothing you said is relevant to the fact that walls work.

    3. There was various sections of border wall for decades.

      1. There still is. In South Texas, where I lived for a number years, I was only a half mile from the river. There was a patrolled 15 foot fence, in very good condition, and from all appearances, impossible to get over. The top had curved spikes facing back toward the river. And yet, I cannot even count how many people I saw come over that fence. And not just over it, but back as well. Apparently it was simply quicker for them to go back and forth that way than wait in the huge lines at the POE. A wall is simply a security blanket. It makes scared people feel safe. It is no different than the TSA. The only solution is increased patrolmen or a revamped immigration system. Out of these choices, revamping the system is far cheaper and should be attempted first. If it doesn't work, then increase patrolmen. But building a wall is simply a children's fairytale to make people feel better. It does not work now, and wont work in the future.

  7. The government has only barely begin the long process of seizing the land on which the wall would be built.

    Where does one go to donate for the eminent domain lawsuits?

    1. US govt has a very easy response to that. Transfer alloidal sovereignty over those land parcels back to Mexico. Hey presto - those landowners don't need to build a wall. They now live in Mexico and are subject to Mexican govt rules. How'd you like them apples.

      1. You've still got the problem with the next parcel north. Pretty soon all of Texas is back in Mexican hands!

        1. Trump gets the Mex Pres to donate his new territories to the US govt, so the wall can be built AND Mex has paid for it ( in part).

          You guys have no imagination!

        2. Well then it'll probably take 10-15 years and they'll start a war of independence from Mexico

      2. In other words they could then carry a stash of weed, acid and blow and it's nobody's business but their own? AND they can tell Nationalsocialist Medical Coercion to feast on faeces and expire? That'll work.

        1. Yeah - they could become a very rich foreign landowner with questionable loyalties sitting just inside the Mexican border on land that used to belong to natives in the form of an eijido. Who get to have their land title adjudicated in a Mexican court under a Mexican constitution that states (roughly) - no foreigner may directly own land within 100 km of the border.

          What could possibly go wrong?

  8. Are donations tax deductible? They should be.

  9. The Amerikaner Mauer idea bloomed when prohibitionists finally realized that Mexico had decriminalized many plant leaves and derivatives--but fizzled when Canada decriminalized plant leaves a month ago. No matter how many innocents border killers manage to murder, Canada has nuclear reactors and light bulbs, exports from which keep northern States from suffering those embarrassing Atlas Shrugged blackouts. A fire in a Toronto high-rise made it obvious that Canadian electricity could crank out ganja like Colorado or California sunshine. That and the G Waffen Bush asset-forfeiture collapse of the US economy re-settled the issue already settled by Herbert Hoover's defeat in 1932 and the ratification of the 21st Amendment. Prohibition causes Crashes and Depressions, not abstinence. Communism (a subsidiary of Prohibitionism + William Jennings Bryan) started wrecking economies in 1893 and building Walls when JFK was president. Remember?

  10. If private property owners along the border wish to build a wall, they are free to do so.

  11. Excellent. I have no problem with people who own border parcels doing anything and everything to keep out trespassers -- those who trespass on private property.

    I have every problem with people who want the government to steal money from me to force border parcel owners to surrender their land to keep out people who I might want to do business with.

    Fuck a bunch of slavers. Use your own goddam money and your own goddam land. Keep your hands off my money and my land.

    1. Indeed. And forcing all the traffic through the land of people who are opposed to the wall may, in fact, change their mind about their opposition.

      From a tactical perspective, it's probably better to leave some weak spots like that to funnel people into specific areas.

  12. WALL BONDS ? Fuck yeah !!!

    I actually don't want any wall (in the Rio Grande Valley, anyways) but I'd buy some wall bonds.

  13. There remains the problem of ladders.

  14. "It's a bad idea," said the open borders fringe extremist magazine.

  15. Up to $2.1 million now, actually.

  16. Past $2.5MM with my DEPLORABLE help. https://www.gofundme.com/TheTrumpWall

    Feel the H8. Learn it. Love it. Live it.

    1. Now $3.2M. In 3 days. Now, that's no $1B, but it's not chump change either.

      1. And another $250k in the intervening hour. Which is still low, for the amount they're trying to raise. They'd hit $1B in about 6 months at that rate.

        Wish I could pull in $250k an hour...

  17. This is just as pathetic as the bullshit proggy attempts to raise money for their crackpot ideas. And it is premised on the same daddy-worshipping, cowardly, sicophantic bullshit. Like kids selling candy bars to raise money for some idiotic authoritarian school cause. It makes the kids feel special and useful, but it is implicit that mommy and daddy will end up buying all the candy bars in the end.




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