The Hendersonville Times-News reported yet another instance of an “unintended consequence” playing out just as free-market economists would have predicted. The federal government has now imposed paperwork requirements and restrictions on official lobbyists to the point they are finding loopholes to exempt themselves from registration.

Many lobbyists argue that the decline in registration demonstrates the unfairness of cracking down on their trade while ignoring the campaign contributors, corporate executives, union chiefs and others who seek the ears of public officials.