The author of this article seems to think so...and he's got some good points. Why Congress Cannot Operate Without The Bribing Power Of Earmarks It seemed like a great victory at the time. After years of federal taxpayer dollars being misappropriated to pay for pet projects in the districts of congressmen and senators looking to curry political favor with the voters back home, a moratorium was passed in 2011 ending the Congressional pork parade known as earmarking. It appeared to make sense. Federal taxpayers had grown sick and tired of paying the bill for something like the construction and renovation of a botanical garden project in Brooklyn, New York when such a project, obviously, had nothing to do with core federal objectives, serving only to improve the re-election prospects of the Congresswoman who brought the money home to Brooklynalong with the few Americans who spend their Saturdays enjoying a picnic in the greatly improved botanical gardens at your expense and mine.[...] But what actually happened? For starters, if you believe we have done away with the concept of earmarking money for special projects back homething again. The earmark moratorium has brought forward an even more insidious process called lettermarking where Congressional slush funds are created as tools for funding pet projects without even the limited accountability and public information that came with earmarking. While earmarks required publication of a pork projectalong with the amount of taxpayer money being spent and identification of the elected official proposing the earmarklettermarking allows for such expenditures without any identification of the project, sum and sponsoring legislator whatsoever. Additionally, we now find that when an elected official is unsuccessful in convincing an agency of the executive branch to contribute money to a pet project, that official often turns to blackmailing the agency involved by threatening to cast a vote to deny some Administration objective. This is precisely what occurred when Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to block Obama administration appointments unless money was provided for a harbor dredging project in his home state. But something even more insidious has followed the ban on earmarking Without the persuasive powers of the political carrot, congressional leaders and the President no longer have the stick required to move Congress to get anything of significance accomplished. We have seen an unprecedented inability to get anything done by our legislators. The last Congress was the most "do nothing" in history. Could the ban on earmarks have been a contributing factor?