Take this recent statement by the FAA concerning the approval to waste more money over at the 'Fort Murtha' Johnstown airport:
DOT spokesperson Jill Zuckman said the review was undertaken after a "senior policy" official at DOT decided he wanted to reconsider the project, but she declined to identify who that was or detail the reason for the reconsideration. She said the runway's concrete hasn't been replaced in many years and is in need of repaving."The bottom line is it deserved the money based on the merits," Zuckman said. "It's not an earmark." - Washington Post
Nice try buddy, but unless this is how funding is obtained to pave most airports in America, then it is an earmark.
Nice also to overlook that the airport itself is one big earmark. And earmarked infrastructure needs to be maintained like all other. Just imagine if the 'Bridge to nowhere' had been built. We would have had to listen to years of excuses on how millions of Federal dollars being spent to paint the bridge are not earmarks because the bridge needs to be painted!