No it is not a typo but it is something you should hear nevertheless. Despite what you have been told earmarks are not necessarily a bad thing.
First of all what the heck are they? Well for one thing they have nothing to do with piercings that have closed. Earmarks are additions to a congressional bill placed by individual congressmen that attempt to direct money from that bill to a pet project of theirs.
For example if a senator has always wanted to build a coyote refuge in his state but cannot get the money to do so he could find a massive congressional bill that is very likely to pass into law and add or attach his relatively small request for funding.
Naturally Senators from other states will complain and go on television for a sound-bite or two about ‘pork’ and waste but the fact is they are ‘pots talking about kettles’ and are likely placing their own earmarks into other bills.
However many if not most of the earmarks will actually create jobs. The above noted fictitious coyote refuge would need people to man and run the place. The land to be used would have to be bought and that would send money into the private sector. And finally the refuge itself could become a destination for the ecologically conscious and eventually a turn into a revenue stream that would fund further projects.
This is not to say that some earmarks are not totally absurd. The infamous ‘bridge to nowhere’ comes to mind and it is up to our government and the media to keep projects such as that from slipping through unnoticed. President Obama promised to make his administration more transparent and that should aid all parties involved in the search for unsound earmarks.
So while one man's meat may be another man's potato don't forget that they are both nevertheless edible. And the next time your congressman cries 'pork' remind him that some consider it the other white meat.