(UNEDITED)As a moderate independent (i.e., a "liberal" in Utah), I'm usually right in Charles Trentelman's camp on most issues, however, I really have to take exception to his piece supporting earmarks. Of the eight examples he gives, five support local or state communities only. Why should our federal tax dollars be spent on state and local issues? Okay, so Utah is lucky to be ranked 13th in earmark receipts. What if we were ranked 49th? Would it be fair for our federal tax dollars to go disproportionately to other states? Earmarks are a prime example of what is wrong with government at all levels. There is too much wheeling and dealing and not enough honest and open evaluation of where to spend money based on actual public need.