Marco Rubio has not let the coronavirus crisis go to waste. Landmark legislation usually doesn’t emerge out of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, but the Florida Republican used his chairmanship to create the Paycheck Protection Program, the most innovative policy included in the roughly $2 trillion economic rescue package enacted in March. …

Rubio’s essays and speeches on his idea of common-good capitalism draw heavily from his Catholicism, quoting papal encyclicals that hold man’s labor above capital, and from the work of economists such as Oren Cass, who recently left the conservative Manhattan Institute to start a new think tank, American Compass.

Cass called the PPP one of the first major legislative wins for Republican populist principles.

“One of the most important things about PPP is that it represents a widening of the lens for economic policy,” he said.

“Traditionally, the GOP has vacillated between ‘Thou shalt not get involved’ and ‘Well, obviously, we need another tax cut,’” Cass said. “PPP illustrates how a conservative applying principles to real economic problems can generate solutions beyond those defaults.”

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