On the way home from work, I listened to Mark Levin speaking about earmarks. Republicans have now agreed to ban the practice.

Mark says that this is great, but that we need to be focused on the larger and more important issues out there – like Social Security, and Obamacare. We need to focus on substantive issues and not just be symbolic and follow the Republican Party line.

He noted several times that at the end of the day earmarks will have little or no effect on the budget or on the debt crisis. That may be true. McConnell had made much the same argument before he gave in and agreed to the ban. But it still matters. Why? It is a trust thing.

Bottom line: Can we trust Republicans this time around? They have failed us so many times before. Can we count on them to do this one little thing right? Can we count on them to keep this one (no-brainer) little promise?

It matters because of the principle of the thing. Earmarks are, in a word, immoral. They are trading our tax dollars for votes and that is a core violation of the trust put in public servants and our representatives.

If we cannot trust Republicans to act on principle in a small matter (budget-wise), how can we ever trust them on the big things?

Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

We need the Republicans to show us that principle matters and that they are faithful in this little thing. If they allow the immoral practice of earmarking to continue, we stand no chance on the bigger things. When they finally ban the practice, tea-partiers and conservatives (the masters who sent them there) can look to Republicans in Congress and say ‘Well done, good and faithful servants! You have been faithful with a few things; We will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

That’s why earmarks matter.