LA Times Excerpt:CONGRESSIONAL earmarks comprise less than .5 percent of the national budget and unless the executive branch makes the same committment to ban "letter" marks and other non-bill district project requests, congress will have handed more spending power to the president (any president, not just Obama).
Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to abandon their use of earmarks in the new Congress, a move setting up an unusual alliance with the White House and exerting pressure on reluctant Democratic lawmakers to follow suit.
"If funds are not designated, they revert to non-designated spending controlled by bureaucrats in the executive branch. In other words, when a designation request makes it into the budget, it subtracts funds out of what is available to the executive branch and bureaucrats in various departments, and targets it for projects that the people and their representatives request in their districts. If a congressman does not submit funding requests for his district the money is simply spent elsewhere. To eliminate all earmarks would be to further consolidate power in the already dominant executive branch and not save a penny." -- Rep. Ron Paul
Banning earmarks while extending the Bush tax cuts to the top 2% is a complete joke. Republicans are working on wealth concentration - not deficit reduction.