The Washington Times - October 15, 2008, 10:23PM

Round three of the presidential debates:

A small crowd, at least 10, are shooting pool and listening to the debate at Kazi’s, a downstairs restaurant bar on L street, in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Moderator Bob Schieffer had asked the candidates on their plans to help the U.S. economy during the Wall Street problems. 

Democratic nominee Barack Obama said he proposed to focus on four things: creating jobs, providing a middle-class tax cut for 95 percent of working class people (for those making less than $250,000), getting the financial package fixed to help homeowners, and last, energy solutions.

“What you want to do with Joe the Plumber” is to increase taxes, Republican nominee John McCain said.

“I want to make sure the plumber, the nurse, the young entrepeneur” have tax breaks, Obama said.

The people watching the debate here, though, said Obama didn’t talk much on how he would measure cutting taxes based on the income of small business owners.

“It’s a really difficult time right now for business. Businesses are slow. The economy is bad,” said a man named Mohammad, the restaurant manager at Kazi’s. 

“And, when you have a big restaurant, you have utility bills, payroll, taxes, then there’s nothing left.”

Sales tax is 10 percent in DC, which goes directly to the DC government.

Mohammad said it’s a difficult time for restaurants not only because it’s slow, but because there’s more taxes to deal with: employee taxes, federal tax, and unemployment.

Here’s a quick fact: Tax rates in America are the second highest in the world.

“Most businesses need to make $200,000 and up in D.C., or else you cannot be a business” and survive, Mohammad said.

An Obama supporter, “he’s for middle class people,” Mohammad said. “I hope he does what he says [for] us.”



- Kimberly Kweder, online editor, The Washington Times