On the heals of Democrats screaming over a move Senator Bunning of Kentucky (R) made, apparently blocking extra money being spent on extending unemployment benefits, I believe its important to make a couple of points.
From my understanding on the issue, Bunning is asking for Senator Reid of Nevada (D) to find the 15 billion or so from other sources of revenue as a pose to deficit spending.
Why is this important?
Well if we go back to the Presidential debates last year, one can remember a then Junior Senator Barack Obama claiming that ear marks didn't matter, that they were an insignificant amount of the budget.
John McCain argued that the larger point that it was a symptom of wreckless spending. In the end, McCain was dead on regarding Obama's fiscal policies.
More over, though, what came to my mind was the figure provided in the debate. It as roughly 20 Billion Factcheck.org says there was roughly 17 Billion in earmarks
To that end, if Senator Reid and Barack Obama were serious about fiscal constraint they would propose cutting earmarks completely and spending that money on employment benefits.
I some how doubt this will happen.