Are earmarks intrinsically bad for our country?
I think so. They are typically for some delegates pet project to help them get re-elected and do nothing for the nation other than raise taxes.
...what are earmarks?
A specific appropriation build into another unrelated bill. E.g. Congress agreed to refund the government yesterday but also lumped a couple favorite projects in. It can be research or infrastructure etc.
Yes and no. Ethically they are very wrong. However, they were often used to get votes, get things done, and control the radicals on both sides.
True but it's like a drug. When constituents see this is possible they want more and it's a never ending evil circle.
That's very true and one reason I see them negatively. I was just commenting in why they were used and the one advantage they have. That said I don't like them at all