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Bureaucracy: Treasury must simplify PPP loan forms

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have joined 42 other senators in a battle against addiction in Washington, D.C.

No, not addiction to drugs. Addiction to serving King Bureaucracy.

Federal officials often seem unable to do anything without bogging the process down in paperwork. So it seems with the Paycheck Protection Program, which is aimed at helping small businesses affected adversely by the coronavirus epidemic.

Small businesses can obtain PPP loans intended to help them avoid laying off employees during the epidemic. If recipients can demonstrate the money was used for that purpose, loans can be forgiven and become grants.

But as Capito points out, the application for loan forgiveness is 11 pages long. Many small business people find it difficult to understand and complete. Remember, they are experts in their own fields — and very busy trying to keep their businesses afloat at the moment. They don’t have time for a process made complex for complexity’s sake.

Capito, Manchin and the others want the application cut to one page. They point out that would be enough space to document compliance with criteria for forgiveness of PPP loans.

In approving the PPP program, members of Congress were wise enough to make loan forgiveness rules simple.

Surely the Treasury Department can do the same.

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