Op-Ed: Inslee’s WA Small Business Relief a Tone-Deaf Insult
Compared to how much the Contact Tracing program, for example, will cost by itself, Gov. Inslee's 'small business relief' programs are an insult to business people, workers, and citizens.
In an article dated April 22,, 2020 in the Seattle Times, a spokesperson for Governor Inslee said the state does not yet know how much it will cost to build his 'army' of Contact Tracing persons in his idea of how to battle COVID-19. However, we do know it's going to be a lot. How?
This week, Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier, who's a member of the Benton Franklin Health District board, said the eventual costs of COVID and the CT program could cause the district's budget to inflate by as much as $3 million over what was planned for them. And that's just in our two counties.
The state has estimated a $7 billion dollar COVID triggered shortfall in revenue between now and 2023, which will likely have to be addressed by a special fall legislative session; during which many leaders believe Gov. Inslee will ask for a state income tax which has been one of his goals.
With all this in mind, the two Working Washington Small Business plans are a tone-deaf insult to business and the economy. The first phase, which was $10 million, was quickly applied for and swallowed up by 501 businesses. This next round, another $10 million, is likely to service about the same number, probably 5-600.
However, according to BusinessInsider.com, there are just over 608,000 small businesses in our state (as of October 2019). Some 1.4 million workers are employed at these firms, so you can see there are a lot of small 2,3 person, or slightly higher operations. Small businesses are the largest employer type in our state.
These are the hardest hit by Inslee's COVID-19 shutdowns, lockdowns and glacial speed Phases for re-opening. Throwing bread crumbs to a few thousand businesses is not going to help the situation. It's a tone-deaf insult from a Governor who knows -0- about how the private sector really works, or for that matter, doesn't care.
Inslee said this week of the programs, "...For many of them, this could be the bridge that keeps them going until federal financial support arrives.”
It clearly shows he is expecting the Federal Government to bail out our economy, meanwhile he continues to put his vague and questionable "science and data" ahead of everything else, including the economy. Gov. Inslee's disingenuous continuous pinings about the "dead" in our state from COVID are falling increasingly on deaf ears. Ears of workers, business owners and others who are tired of seeing a closed-minded leader who's acting like, many say, an egotistical dictator.
As one Seattle restaurant-brewery owner said when he announced to the Seattle Times he was having to close, "hope is not really a business plan."
Critics and legislative leaders say the Working Washington Plan is a political stunt, an attempt by the Governor to make it look like he's trying to help the economy. epic fail.
You want to fix it? Open...up...the...economy. It may take some time, but it WILL recover.
The way to salvage at least some of this is to throw open the economy of the state, which can be done while still practicing COVID-19 preventative measures. Focus on the at-risk groups, and worry about Contact Tracing for another time and another generation. If you don't want another generation to be living and working in Washington state, just keep up the same course you're on, inslee.