Talking about taxes, debt, war - and talking

There is mild concern among the adults in Alexander's life that he is not busy forming more sophisticated sounds rather than happily gurgling. The lad is 8 months old, and according to the experts he should be able to at least say something akin to "mama."

As the doting grandfather, I'm pretty sure the boy is sharp as a tack, but I'm in no hurry to have him start talking and prove me wrong.

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Something very unusual in my life happened Friday - I had lunch at one of the local eateries.

Sit-down dinners at a restaurant ended when Arizona's smoking law took effect. And even though I've kicked one habit, I still haven't kicked the other. I got used to not going out to eat and I still don't.

What struck me as interesting at lunch Friday was the number of diners, down considerably in this economy from what I recall of the time when I ate there frequently.

I know some people laugh at the suggestion that a 2-percent increase isn't going to scare off any business. If you fall into that category, I refer you to Walter Williams' syndicated column that appeared in Wednesday's Miner. In it, Williams details how a tax on yachts virtually wiped out the luxury boat industry in the U.S. and put thousands of people out of work.

I hope that lesson isn't lost on the City Council, which could vote in the near future to add a 2-percent tax on bars and restaurants in Kingman.

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It's unfortunate that Mark Steyn isn't among the syndicated columnists available to the Miner. Lately, his focus has largely been on the deficit and the debt and the short-term implications.

And when I say "short-term," it is in relation to what we used to regard as "long-term," as in, "I don't care because by then I'll be dead."

Steyn spells out what could happen, what he believes will happen, now that a deal is in place that could very well result in the national debt exceeding $20 trillion in not too many years.

The spending spree by both parties has put us on a perilous course, one much more hazardous than you think.

Steyn's work is online. I find his column most Mondays at www.jewishworldreview.com/, which also has an archive of Steyn's columns.

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Speaking of Steyn, I caught him on TV last week in one of those round robin liberals vs. conservatives discussions when one of the liberals mentioned "two wars that haven't been paid for."

Steyn pointed out that the 10-year cost of those wars pretty much equals the annual spending deficit during Barack Obama's time in the Oval Office.

I didn't Google to find out if it's true, but the liberal who brought it up didn't argue the point. Either way, there's a whole lot of spending going on.