RED STATE AMERICA--With so many states still strapped for funds after their Republican-led legislatures cut their budgets to the bone, and with gambling casinos and racinos no longer producing enough to make up for the deficit, some Red States are trying a new approach: They are introducing gladiatorial contests, using the poorest volunteers of their state to raise new revenue.
In Texas, for example, poor people using any weapon they can find, short of rifles or pistols (to protect the paying customers from stray bullets), fight to the death in the largely abandoned Astrodome. In a match-up between a half dozen contestants, the one still living at the end of the match wins a prize of $2000.00, plus free medical care at the local Urgent Care Center.
Said Sen. Troy Fraser (District 24) of the fight-to-the-death matches: "These matches are very exciting to watch, and--at $90.00 a ticket--they can raise tens of thousands of dollars each week to go toward our infrastructure repair and schools. Also, we are again using the Astrodome, which has been sitting abandoned now for more than a decade. But maybe the biggest advantage of the weekly matches is that we remove, with three matches a night, fifteen people from the welfare rolls each Friday. At forty-eight matches a year, with 15 losers a week" (Sen. Fraser here pulled out his calculator and did the math), "that's 720 moochers removed from our welfare rolls each year." Sen. Fraser said he has ringside seats to every match and manages to attend most of them. He exclaimed: "They're great fun, except for the spattered blood from some of the more drawn-out matches. Be sure to wear a windbreaker when you go! Heh heh!"
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal is also playing with the idea of introducing gladiatorial fights to raise much-needed funds for infrastructure and education. Jindal, a potential GOP candidate for the presidency in 2016, is very excited about the idea. Hardly containing himself, Jindal explained to a reporter from The Times-Picayune, "The reputation of the Mercedes/Benz Superdome was tarnished a bit during Hurricane Katrina, as a shelter of last resort for the poorer people of New Orleans. Now we're giving the Superdome, and the poor people housed there during Katrina, a chance to redeem themselves, at least the ones who survive the death matches."