I stopped at this news story on the front page of the World's Worst Newspaper.
Lemme give you the Cliff's Notes version: happy young fathead and friends go whooping and diving off a tree into the Little Luckiamute River back in '96. Unhappy fathead augers headfirst into sandbar, breaks neck.
Now effectively a corpse with a working head, he is kept alive only by respirator. He is on full disability, but is suing the State of Oregon for additional funds to pay for his in-home caregivers under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Note that he tried to go it with just his family helping out but burned through them and had to turn to the state to stay on his own rather than go into some sort of nursing care facility.
Now generally I'm a pretty blue-type blue person. I honestly believe that one of the important jobs of a government is to help people do things they can't do themselves: build courts, fight fires, defend countries. And help care for themselves if they're hurt. So generally my reaction to stuff like this is, OK, it doesn't hurt me and it helps you. I may not like losing the cool old iron corner curbs in North Portland, but it helps people in wheelchairs and sk8ters alike, so, go for it.
But I read this and my instant reaction was, screw you, Jack; if the choice is between spending more public money for you to live in an apartment in Salem versus you living in a nursing home, it's Happy Acres for you, me lad.
I think that, sadly, my decision was influenced by two items; first, that this guy isn't exactly Steven Hawking and keeping him in his house is unlikely to get a return on the public's investment outside his own happiness, and, second, that he didn't get his injury being blown from an MRAP in Ramadi - he and his buddies made a dumbass decision and he paid for it.
Extra credit for his pal who "drove back to the river and, in anger, sawed down the tree" they were swinging and jumping from!
So am I just being a right ol' bastard about wanting to deny more of my taxes to this poor mook? Does the fact that this guy pulled what was essentially a stupid boner and surveyed himself make a difference in who is responsible for his care? I'm honestly curious; what do you think we as "society" should do for this poor sonofabitch, and what part, if any, does the culpability for the guy's injury play? Comment away; I am always curious to find out exactly how much of a real jerk I am...