If only it weren’t so serious of a problem. According to Citizens Against Government Waste:
"The 2010 Pig Book identified 9,129 projects at a cost of $16.5 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2009. A 'pork' project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures. To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition."
My thanks to Citizens Against Government Waste for reminding us all how broken and abused the earmarking system is.