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Flood Control, the Mississippi River, and Government
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4995

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject: Flood Control, the Mississippi River, and Government Reply with quote

We haven’t heard much from the libertarians about the Mississippi River during this flood. The Federal government has been funding flood control and navigation along the river since before the Civil War. Over 92% of the world’s agricultural exports are produced by the river basin, and shipping those products and other materials is an industry worth over $12 billion each year. Should we be doing this, or should we reduce the size of the Federal government in this particular arena?

Flood control on the Mississippi has critics on the environmental side who argue that flood control efforts are bound to fail at some point, and the illusion of flood control exposes more people to risk. The Congressional rules that governs funding by the Corps of Engineers requires economic benefits that exceed the investment, but critics on the conservative side say that is not enough to assure that investment goes to the most worthwhile economic activities. Yet 12 million people live in the 125 counties along the river, and the Corps of Engineers has invested billions in both navigation and flood control, and has built 3500 miles of levees that seem to have protected most of the more developed areas.

Here from Greg O’brien’s history of flood control efforts is a pithy Mark Twain quote:

Quote:
“The military engineers of the Commission have taken upon their shoulders the job of making the Mississippi over again — a job transcended in size by only the original job of creating it.”
Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1874


I couldn’t find any real journalism that investigated the total cost of flood control efforts to date, or what savings they might have brought about in the current flood. One interesting paper from Tulane talks about only the lower Mississippi, (http://www.tulane.edu/~mrbc/2001/MISSIS~1/FLOODS~1.HTM) and compares that project’s cost, $9 billion plus, with an expected $200 billion in savings.

So all you who want to shrink government and sometimes never think about what it is actually doing, how do you react to the Mississippi flooding?
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2364

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Flood Control, the Mississippi River, and Government Reply with quote

mac wrote:

So all you who want to shrink government and sometimes never think about what it is actually doing, how do you react to the Mississippi flooding?

Mac, you know it depends on how Obama feels about Mississippi flooding.

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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm waiting until Obama gets blamed for the flooding, and particularly how the government responded to it. Someone from the right is trying to find that wrinkle right now, to include any way to capitalize on it.

As an aside, one wonders whether rabid anti-government forces really understand what the government has invested in technology and product to view, interpret, and characterize weather and its impacts. I'm sure that such details are somehow lost in the "government is the problem" paradigm.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2551

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's pathetic that the three of you would attempt to score political points out of this tragedy. You should all be ashamed.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2364

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gimmie a fuckin break
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4995

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its pathetic that you don't have a coherent perspective. I asked a few questions. How sad.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Score points?

No, like I said earlier, I'm just waiting for the blame game. Somehow Obama has to be the root of all our problems.

Come on mrgybe, you're slacking.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13845

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
You should all be ashamed.


LOL.

That was a joke, right?
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3485
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
It's pathetic that the three of you would attempt to score political points out of this tragedy. You should all be ashamed.



Dont tell that to Eric Cantor, one of the real gems inside the beltway.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), however, said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs. The Washington Times reports:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.

“If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2364

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The GOP needs a nice return on their charity. Sympathy ain't free, pal.
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