For several years now numerous national level politicians of both the Republican and Democrat parties have come out publicly and criticized "earmarks" (budget expenditures for specific projects) as bad for the country. A storm on this issue is brewing in the Republican caucus in the Senate on whether or not to make a caucus rule banning earmarks for Republican Senators! Republican senators as well as all Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Congress should stop ducking the "earmark" issue and do what is right "ban" them! The case against earmarks is overwhelming, wake-up congressional representatives and smell the coffee! Over the years the overall expenditure for earmarks in the Federal budget has increased dramatically, granted scrapping "earmarks" would only have a very minor effect on the deficit but things are so bad with America's finances responsible financial stewardship calls for combing the federal budget and taking all the minor savings that can be taken like the banning of "earmarks" because the some total of these savings will help on America's financial problem. On countless occassions it has been publicly underscored how the earmark system is corrupting to America's political system. "Earmarks" create a pay-to-play culture in Washington where backers or their allies or agents have to make campaign contributions to Washington politicians to get politicians support for specific earmark projects, in effect what is going on in part is wasting taxpayer monies because the taxpayer monies spent on these earmark projects is in effect finding its way back to the Washington politicians pocket sponsoring the project in the form of campaign contributions and not only is this wasteful but it is wrong because it gives incumbent politicians an unfair advantage in election races because they can use the "earmark" system to raise campaign funding to win their reelection campaign a funding vehicle not open to non-incumbents. The worse part of the earmark system is that it in effect often results in Federal elected officials in Congress having their vote on budget bills "for sale" the sale price being including certain earmark projects the official favors in the bill; the Congress will never function the way the American people need it to function when there is this system where rank and file members vote can be gotten for funding the right favored project(s) for these members! It needs to be kept in mind that banning earmarks doesn't mean that there will be a ban on economic development help coming from the federal government to the states (because an earmark often provides meaningful economic help to a state) it just means that federal economic development monies will go to the state and the state will decide the projects to be funded this way it will be easier for legislative leaders to hold down this economic development monies expense in the budget and it will dramatically reduce much of the corrupting influences in Washington from earmarks. Not only should all members of Congress vote for a rule in their chamber banning "earmarks", but also, Congress should pass a law seeking to change the U.S. constitution to prohibit "earmarks" in any Federal budget bills or in any way connected with passage of a federal budget. If passed it would of course have to be again passed in the next Congress in order to be sent to the states for ratification, a somewhat lengthy process; but America's mood is so fed-up with the national debt and the huge yearly interest payments that will have to be paid on that debt for the indefinite future the American people definitely definitely want this constitutional amendment to pass so the country can begin to get the its financial problems permanently under control!