Those are pork barrel spending items individual Congress members slip into spending bills to make sure some of your money gets spent in their district. Congress slipped in $71.77 billion for 15,832 earmarks last year.
Democrats have already announced they'll kill earmarks to so they can pass the budget bills left over when the 109th Congress adjourned.
President Bush has now jumped on the bandwagon...saying in his weekly radio address:
"[O]ne of the best ways we can impose more discipline on federal spending is by addressing the problem of earmarks. … My administration will soon lay out a
series of reforms that will help make earmarks more transparent, that will hold the members who propose earmarks more accountable, and that will help reduce the number of earmarks inserted into large spending bills."
Now about that horse and the barn door -- Think Progress estimates there have been 31,709 earmarks during Mr Bush's second term alone. (ThinkProgress)