I quoted Maj. Gen. George S. Patton in my column last week: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
I’m repeating it because it is so relevant to the coronavirus crisis.
No one thinks the stimulus bill the Senate is trying to pass, which Democrats have sabotaged, is a perfect plan. There is something in it for everyone to criticize. But when the house is burning down, the job is to put the fire out as quickly as possible. A moment delay to look for a better way to do it can result in absolute destruction.
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it: “This is not a political opportunity. It’s a national emergency.”
Even calling this a stimulus bill is a misnomer.
It is more accurate to call this a bridge loan to ourselves.
Anyone who has operated a business understands that a bridge loan makes it possible for you to cross a valley between a difficult situation you are in, providing an opportunity to work through difficulties so you can get to the other side and once again function in a healthy way.
The assumption of a bridge loan is that you are, at the core, OK. Once you get through the storm, you will be OK again.
Bridge loans are not given to businesses that are deemed failing to begin with.
Before this health crisis hit, our economy was strong. Our country is fundamentally strong. But we’ve taken an unusual and hard physical blow.
This is not like other economic crises, where the collapse was the result of some major flaw in our existing institutions or the way we are managing our affairs.
This crisis is the result of shutting down our economy because of an immediate health threat.
Economies function as buyers and sellers meet in the marketplace. If you tell buyers and sellers they are prohibited from showing up in the marketplace, everything will collapse.
This is where we are.
We need financing so businesses, particularly small businesses, can get to the other side, so that when we stop this scourge, hopefully sooner rather than later, they will not be wiped out, and will be able to get going again and pick up where they were before.
We also need to provide cash flow to individuals so those whose livelihood is cut off or limited can pay their bills and make it to the other side.
This is what this legislation is about. Period.
It’s hard to believe that as we try to throw a lifeline to our economy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their Democrats want to condition it on signing off on their left-wing agenda: the Green New Deal; tests on gender, race and ethnicity for business; government dictates on how businesses manage their financial affairs and how much they pay their executives. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has never run a business or met a payroll, wants to force minimum wage when companies are shedding their workforce in order to stay afloat.
It’s like telling a patient on life support that he must sign off on gender-neutral restrooms before we agree to connect his ventilator.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called this bill a “crony capitalist slush fund,” recently helped kill the deal that would have brought a new Amazon headquarters to New York — the same Amazon that is now adding 100,000 new workers.
I don’t like companies turning to Washington as the first reaction to a crisis. But it’s Democrats who have played a central role in creating the welfare-state culture that has debilitated the nation.
But this isn’t time for this discussion. This is a time for immediate action to save ourselves before mortal damage is inflicted, so we can live to see a better day.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of the new book “Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America,” available now on Amazon.com.