Usually, they make things worse.
"The War on Poverty"
"The War on (some) Drugs"
"Cash for Clunkers"
Glowbull worming - oops - "Climate Change"
"The New Deal" "Quantitative Easing"
"Affirmative Action "
Now comes a Demonrat from New Jersey, Sen. Robert Menendez, angry that Target could screw up and expose millions of credit-card purchasers to fraud. He's got a sure-fire plan to fix things.
Let the SEC "fine" companies that lose customer's credit card or other personal information to hackers.
Great. The customers lose to the hackers, the stores get a federal fine - that goes right into the federal black hole, and the stores in turn raise prices to recoup their fine.
Everyone is happy, except the cheated customers, who still must deal with their deflicted credit card, and anyone who shops, as the prices go up to cover the new legal expenses.
I've got a real simple law that they could pass - make any retailer or credit-card company that loses customer information liable for every fraudulent charge and credit score loss suffered by any customer, along with a punitive fine payable directly - and tax-free - to the cheated customers. The stores might still raise their prices, but I'll bet they will be real careful with private information, knowing that they will have to pay for all the purchases a hacker might make, as well as paying the cheated for their time and trouble.
And, the federal government will never see a penny of that money.
Now - how could we make that idea work with outfits like the FDA and the EPA?