The lobbying law relies on self-reporting and has no serious enforcement behind it: if you estimate that you spend less than 20 percent of your work hours lobbying, you don't have to register. It is akin to filing taxes with no risk of an audit, said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the Campaign Legal Center and part of an American Bar Association task force that urged revisions to lobbying rules in 2011.
An electronic payment, for instance, costs the government only 9 cents to process, compared with $1.25 for a paper check, the Treasury Department says.At Treasury, which last year suspended most paper mailings for all but the very aged and those with “mental impairments,” officials estimate the shift will save $1 billion over 10 years. The move by the Social Security Administration in 2011 to stop mailing paper earnings statements to 150 million Americans is saving $72 million a year.For the paper industry, the stakes are high. The digital age has ravaged sales of envelopes, office paper, catalogues and pulp products, with industry analysts saying that demand for paper products dropped 5 percent on average in each of the past five years. Mills have closed, and thousands of employees have been laid off.