The GOP is suddenly all hot and bothered about Congressional earmarks aka the dreaded pork. Bush hit this theme hard in the SOTU address last night and the Presidential candidates, especially McCain have been hitting this theme very hard on the trail, as if ending earmarks will end our current economic woes.
Pork is dismissed as waste - 30 million dollars for a new freeway interchange in Olympia, Washington! 10 million dollars to study the mating habits of king crabs in Alaska! Ok, maybe are more effective and rational ways to spend federal dollars, but this money isn't wasted. Traffic in Olympia will get better. We might just find out something about king crabs that keeps the species from going extinct or help crab fisherman keep their livelihoods. The point is, earmarks are useful to people, or their wouldn't be any political benefits to giving them out.
If you want real waste, they look no further than the Iraq war. Billion and billions of dollars, not the petty millions that make up pork, is being spent on Iraq. Hundreds of billions each year. And we have nothing to show for it but dead soldiers.