The Nov. 3rd Wall St. Journal printed President James Madison's veto message from 1817. One of the Founders and writers of the Constitution wrote "The power to regulate commerce...can not include a power to construct roads and canals..."
I wonder what Mr. Madison would think of earmarks?
Already we are hearing noises that perhaps Defense appropriations should be exempt from a suspension of earnarks. I don't think so. There is nothing convincing that we can trust our elected representatives. Until we have our confidence in their reliability restored, I see no reason to assume they will spend additional defense money wisely.
And I think the military knows they can leave out essentials and keep the fat in, because Congress can be counted on to add to the budget.