National Review Online’s Kevin D. Williamson explains:
The temporary shutdown of a relatively small part of the federal government has caused genuine chaos in some places. On Friday afternoon, it was announced that Miami is closing one of its airport terminals because there is not a full cast of TSA agents there to perform all three acts of security theater. That is a real problem for Miami, which has a large tourism economy and a substantial itinerant population.
Surely, the people of Miami would be better off — at least in this particular instance — if the responsibility for providing security at Miami’s airport fell to another, non-federal party: the state government of Florida, the municipal government of Miami, the airport authority, the airlines themselves, etc. Imagine that the states ran airport security themselves: It is entirely possible that a similar political standoff in a state government could result in the expiration of funding for that state’s airport security and an interruption in that service. That is a problem that could be contained, and it is unlikely that all 50 states, or some large share of them, would experience the same problem at the same time. If DFW airport in Texas were left without security because of a problem in the Texas state government, the governments of the neighboring states would have some incentive to step in and provide temporary help in the interests of their residents who use that airport.
A network of 50 airport-security providers might be more complex than a system with a single provider, but it also would be more resilient.