Paperwork Reduction...Not

Grab a shovel. Despite a congressional mandate to reduce the Environmental Protection Agency's paperwork requirements 25% between 1995 and 1998, the agency's overall burden on businesses actually increased 9%, according to a new report from Congress' General Accounting Office. What's more, that came after the EPA claimed it had actually reduced its paperwork requirements. The EPA has given small businesses "a fast shuffle," chides Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-Mo.), chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee. EPA spokesman Steve Snider says that the report is flawed and that the agency is charged by Congress with pursuing two competing missions: "responding to the public's right to know and also streamlining programs." May the best goal win.