Prediction: No matter what the incoming GOP majority has said and wants us to believe, the number and dollar value of earmarks in the next Congress will be at least as great, and probably more, than the amount from previous years.
In fact, when you combine the following two items together, and it's hard not to realize that the only thing the announced GOP ban on earmarks is only going to accomplish is to drive them underground where they'll be harder to see...and even that's not certain.
First, Hal Rogers (R-KY), whose nickname on Capital Hill is "Prince of Pork," will be the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in the next Congress and, therefore, the new "Earmarker-in-Chief." As Politico reports,
"Over the past two years, Rogers has requested $175,613,300 in earmarks, including funding for a cheetah protection nonprofit that his daughter works for.