Jim DeMint is leading an effort to push for a ban within the Senate Republican Conference on earmarks. Tony Perkins and FRC are issuing a call to prayer for DeMint as he fights for a conservative senate. RedState has the battle plan for helping DeMint politically.
Are earmarks a way for the legislature to direct how money is spent as opposed to the executive? Yes.
Have they been added to bills regularly to encourage people to vote for bills? Yes.
In this way they lead to excess spending, and need to be banned for now.
Also call Mitch McConnell and let him know he needs to stop fighting against this effort.
For the record earmarks are not the solution to the deficit/spending problem in D.C. They are a key first step, partially symbolic partially meaningful, that must be followed by other things that will eventually culminate in a balanced budget amendment.