Someone needs to remind Ron Paul that, as taxpaying citizens of the United States, the victims of the Mississippi River flood have built their own levees.
(HT: Library Chronicles)
This is where libertarianism fails for me as an effective government policy. The Mississippi River affects people from Montana to New York. It affects commerce all throughout the center of the country. When you dam the river to provide power for the cold nights in North Dakota, Louisiana loses coastal land; when heavy snows melt in the Midwest, people in Mississippi are flooded out of their homes.
All you have to do to see this won't work is to examine the dysfunction that accompanied the Georgia/Alabama/Florida water wars over the Chattahoochie River. Those states are still trying to work something out themselves, and will be back at one another's throats when the drought comes back.
You want to see a nighmare scenario on the Mississippi River? Let's throw that back to the states and tell them to figure it out themselves with their own budgets and their own contractors. Welcome back to the 19th Century of each state and each port having its own tax system for river traffic (driving up costs and corruption) and the killings that will go on as agents from each state go after each other's levees to relieve pressure on their own.
The Mississippi River is a national resource and trade network. River management is a national concern. The response to the USACoE's areas of insufficiency is to address those problems within the one agency, not to create a bunch of state agencies with the same insufficiencies and less resources to deal with it.