KRUEGER: The Cobra Effect

It seems like Democrat leaders are lacking common sense and an understanding of history.   What President Joe Biden, his Democrat minions, and his media lapdogs have instead is a massive spending agenda masked in Orwellian newspeak.  They blithely and disingenuously refer to their $737 billion prodigal plan as an Inflation Reduction Act, their $ 2.2 trillion spending spree as Build Back Better, and their $350 billion spendthrift scheme as the American Recovery Act. 

According to economic experts at the Penn Wharton Business School, the Inflation Reduction Act will have little to no effect on inflation.  The Congressional Budget Office likewise opined that this latest spending program will not reduce inflation.  Americans with common sense don’t need experts to recognize Democrats’ false promises.   

All they need to do is look at their grocery bills.  I did.  I pulled up my grocery orders from August and September 2021 and compared them to identical orders if placed today.  The comparison was shocking, with today’s prices reflecting a 22% and 56% increase, respectively.  

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.”  I know that spending more money won’t make my grocery bills decrease, but it will create debt and drain my savings.  One can’t spend their way out of financial problems.  This is the kind of common sense that we would like to see our politicians apply when they are spending our money.  

If they can’t apply common sense, I would encourage politicians and their bureaucratic progeny to study history.  By doing so, they could learn about the Cobra Effect, which sums up how a poorly planned incentive plan or regulatory scheme exacerbates a problem.  

In Colonial India, government officials instituted an incentive plan to eliminate deadly cobras from the city of Delhi.  Each cobra skin brought a bounty.  Government officials hoped that this bounty would encourage people to kill the snakes and thereby eliminate the public safety threat.   The program seemed to be going well, with many snakes being proffered to officials for payment.  

Despite the apparent success of the program, the snake population in Delhi failed to decline.  As it turns out, the entrepreneurial spirit inspired a snake farming industry which was a lot easier, safer, and more cost-effective than capturing wild snakes.  After discovering this slithery loophole, government officials shut down the Cobra Buy Back Program.   With no government-subsidized market for their goods, snake farmers released their captive cobras, which ended up increasing their population in Delhi.  

No wonder it is now known as the Cobra Effect. 

Flush with $53 million in federal taxpayer dollars, Houston, Texas officials recently instituted a gun buy-back program for “public safety”.   A bounty was offered for every gun that was turned in to city officials.  One man tendered 62 inoperable “ghost guns” that he manufactured on a 3-D printer for $3 apiece to illustrate the foolishness of the program.   Despite this, Democrat Mayor Sylvester Turner declared that the gun buy-back event was a great success.   

It almost seems like Democrats do not care what they spend our money on, as long as they can spend it. 

President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is not the vote-buying strategy he hoped it would be.  It will have the Cobra Effect on higher education since more people will take out more loans hoping the government will pay them off down the road. 

His policies are pushing more and more moderate democrats and unaffiliated voters into the realization that the Democrat Party is not looking out for them.  Common sense conservatives have an opportunity this year to win the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to stem the tide of wasteful spending and progressive policies.

Maureen Krueger is President of Moore County Republican Women.

By Maureen Krueger

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