500 rally against government spending

About 500 people gathered in front of the Georgia Capitol Monday evening for a rally to mark the visit of two “The Tea Party Express” buses, a publicity campaign by conservatives that is traveling coast to coast. The buses are sponsored by a political action committee called Our Country Deserves Better, which opposes recent government spending and states as its goal a return to “Reaganesque conservatism.”

The speeches were set to start at 5:30 p.m., but the group forgot a podium, so the speeches started after dark. About 6 p.m., the buses arrived. Capitol police shut down Washington Street, and the crowd walked in the street.

People in the crowd carried signs critical of President Barack Obama and federal deficit spending. They also were critical of the health care bill recently passed out of the House.

“Kill that bill!” the crowd shouted. Many waved flags declaring, “Don’t tread on me.”

Bruce Hoglander, 54, of Marietta said he came to the rally because he was worried about the ballooning deficit.

“How are we going to pay for it?” he asked.

Ann Martin of Peachtree City said she had not been politically active until the financial crisis and the federal bailout of large financial institutions.

“Our family can afford to spend what it has, no more,” she said. “I expect my government to do the same.”

Asked if she opposed Democrats or Republicans, Martin said, “Throw out all the incumbents. Let’s start over. This is a mess.”

On April 15, several thousand “Tea Party” protesters came to the Georgia Capitol as one of more than 300 rallies across the country to oppose massive government spending to stimulate the economy. Those protests were organized by a different group.