With midterm elections on the horizon, Democrats and Republicans are competing over which party can take the toughest stand against earmarks, which send federal money to particular projects. On Wednesday, Democrats proposed ending the practice of giving earmarks to for-profit corporations. The hope would be this could diminish the influence of lobbyists. Republicans responded by saying they would end the practice entirely, for corporations and for non-profits like universities. In the end, The Washington Post reports, neither proposal will put a real dent in government spending. Earmarks account for $16 billion of the more than $1 trillion that the federal government spends each year.