Asset Forfeiture Evidence of the Growing U.S. Police State

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

As evidence of the growing U.S. police state, here are statistics on drug war asset seizures (in dollars) made by U.S. attorneys:

1989 $285,000,039
1990 451,870,952 +58.6%
1991 596,879,728 +32.1%
1992 325,786,450 -45.4%
1993 385,000,701 +18.2%
1994 418,224,247 +8.6%
1995 464,666,914 +11.1%
1996 377,527,900 -18.8%
1997 570,656,170 +51.2%
1998 280,808,572 -50.8%
1999 535,767,852 +90.8%
2000 312,676,413 -41.6%
2001(a) 199,043,103 -36.3%
2002 322,246,408 +61.9%
2003 342,862,000 +6.4%
2004 (b) 300,779,267 -12.3%
2005 313,866,115 +4.4%
2006 841,094,697 +168.0%
2007 1,323,094,697 +57.3%
2008 1,103,810,683 -16.6%
2009 1,129,381,466 +2.3%
2010 1,786,567,692 +58.2%

Growth is irregular but at a very high rate (over 9 percent continuously compounded a year).

a. In 2001, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act temporarily derailed growth.
b. In 2004, the introduction of a new system of tracking seizures temporarily derailed growth.

These asset seizures fund further growth of the police state. The same process is at work whenever any state expands its power and size. In earlier centuries, as monarchs extended taxes to peasants, they frequently revolted. The taxes aided the monarch in building up armed forces to quell revolts and collect taxes, that is, to institute a stronger state.

10:35 am on May 28, 2014
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts