There’s a slogan popular with some Libertarians that claims “Taxation is theft.” It’s a cute saying but really only provocative hyperbole and nearly pure nonsense. When the government wants to steal something from you, it uses a process with the called Civil Asset Forfeiture. The anodyne named procedure allows governments to seize the assets of anyone they merely suspect is engaged in criminal activity. No need for convictions, or even charges. If property is confiscated, its owners have to go to court to get it back. And budget-strapped law enforcement agencies can take a cut -which doesn’t guarantee bad behavior on their part, but does create a powerful incentive.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in move worthy of a tin-horn dictator in a banana republic, has lifted a rule put in place to rein in law enforcement agencies that were breaking the law. From The Atlantic: “…the directive revives the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, a controversial process through which state and local police agencies can seize assets, then transfer those seizures to federal control. In doing so, local agencies can skirt some state-level regulations limiting forfeitures. Under the program, the federal government pools the funds derived from the assets and sends 80 percent of them back to the state or local department itself, sometimes evading state laws that say seized assets should go into a state’s general fund.”
Genuine conservatives are outraged -as everyone should be. State Representative Scot Turner sure is. His letter to Sessions (seen here
via Twitter and downloadable at this linkLetter to Sessions) should set an example to those who want to call themselves conservatives, or even Americans.
Let’s hope more elected officials will publicly protest this abuse of power.