- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Kanye West is a billionaire — and not the quiet kind. The loud, look-at-me, I’ve got a billion bucks to my name kind. The bragging, boasting, I-just-confirmed-a-deal-for-a mega-mansion-in-Wyoming kind.

He’s also the recipient of a multimillion dollar taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program business loan.

Call it the great PPP bamboozle. Welfare for the wealthy; tax dollars for the entitled. Better yet, call it the great taxpayer swindle.

This is why the government does not belong in the business of picking winners and losers with loans.

If West needs money for his clothing and sneaker company Yeezy — let West borrow his own dang money from a bank. Or from his own bank account. Or from a friend.

Taxpayers are not props for the billionaire class.

The U.S. Treasury Department reported this week that Yeezy was the recipient of between $2 million and $5 million of federal pandemic rescue funds, a stimulus loan deal that West said will help save about 106 of his employees’ jobs. How noble — of the taxpayers, that is, to sacrifice so much so that so many of the billionaire’s shoemakers could keep making the shoes that sell for about $250 a pop.

How noble to provide for the noblesse.

Just one day after Yeezy pocketed the PPP loan, West closed the deal on his mansion-building plans in Cody, Wyoming.

“The mansion, which he’ll use for himself, his reality TV star wife, Kim Kardashian, and their four children, will replace a set of lakeside cabins and dwellings currently there,” Mercury News reported, citing TMZ. “The plans also show that West wants to build two 10,000-square-foot underground garages.”

Oh, and oh yes, then there was this: West also announced in this same time frame he’s running for president of the United States.

Just the type of guy who needs government — i.e., taxpayer — stimulus dollars, yes?

West isn’t the only completely unqualified, ridiculously selected, unequivocally undeserving recipient of PPP funds — funds that are supposed to bolster small businesses through these struggling coronavirus times. The Girl Scouts, law firms, political groups, hedge funds — all these and more were just revealed as benefiting from the dole-outs.

But he is the most obnoxious.

“When we featured West on the cover of Forbes last summer, delving into his incredible success with Yeezy, he seemed pleased at first,” Forbes wrote in April. “But without sufficient documentation … we didn’t call him a billionaire. And that grated on him. As the year wore on, he protested publicly. … When our annual billionaires list appeared earlier this month, again with West absent — still no documentation, and now a pandemic to boot — West again reacted with hurt and venom. ‘You know what you’re doing,’ he texted. ‘You’re toying with me and I’m not [gonna lie] down and take it anymore in Jesus name.’ “

Poor billionaire.

Just can’t get no respect.

Speaking of which — neither can taxpayers.

A government program that deems West worthy of taxpayer-funded loans is, simply put, a government program that has no business being — no constitutional cause, no moral standing, no nothing. Let the billionaires get their loans from somewhere other than taxpayer pockets.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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