Civil Asset Forfeiture: Another Stealth Tax

(From Mises)

One of these “other sources of income” is the so-called “inflation tax” through which governments can create more money for themselves by simply creating it. The “tax” then falls on the public which is left holding devalued currency.

This is, as Ludwig von Mises, noted, “essentially undemocratic” since it’s an attempt to make an end run around the voters and obtain more revenue without having to go through the trouble of raising taxes honestly and out in the open.

Another method of seizing wealth from the taxpayers is through what is now called “civil asset forfeiture.”

This occurs when a law enforcement agency seizes the assets — including real estate, cars, cash, and other valuables — from private citizens based merely on the suspicion that the person has committed a crime with the assets in question. No due process is necessary. No conviction in a court of law need occur.

While it is technically possible to sue a government agency to reclaim one’s possessions, this requires immense amounts of time and legal fees to pursue.

Needless to say, civil asset forfeiture has become a lucrative source of income for law enforcement agencies. And, over the past 30 years, the practice has become widespread.

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