My problem with earmarks goes beyond pork-barrel spending, and cannot be addressed in any reasonable manner other than dismantling the system altogether. The problem is that earmarks represent a subversion of our government in that they are frequently used as bribes to sway votes from lawmakers. This is no small thing, and ultimately results in the fleecing of America on a level that is essentially indeterminate. So it is more than the earmarks themselves, it is the bills they are attached to that wouldn't pass were it not for accompanying bribes that the earmarks represent.
I agree that this is a perversion of the system prescribed by the Constitution. The system rules need to evolve to address the weaknesses of humans today, and the fucking godawful amount of money these guys influence. I don't say control because the actual control happens at a different level in the government - in the agencies and agency departments that get the money by congressional authorization to carry out their charter every year.
It is a bigger problem than "earmarks" as, if you eliminated the process entirely, the budget would be the same and the corruption would be forced to find another path. Right now "earmarks" are the path of least resistance. In one way that means we can see the corruption and try to address the corruption directly. If you shut this down, it just means the problem goes to another path. Jim