Demonstrators protesting higher taxes and government spending rallied yesterday in cities from Georgia to North Dakota and from the District to Annapolis to voice their displeasure about the deficit-reduction package approved by Congress.
Outside Chicago's federal plaza, some of the more than 100 demonstrators waved brooms and carried signs reading "Time for a Clean Sweep" of lawmakers endorsing higher taxes.
"Congress should cut its own budget," declared Jordan Rosner, 26, of Chicago.
About 70 demonstrators also carried signs protesting federal spending policies at a rally in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House.
The nationwide protest was organized by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based coalition endorsing limited government spending and a hold on federal taxes. At many demonstrations, however, the turnouts were less than what had been anticipated.
In Bismarck, N.D., about 50 people gathered at the state capitol steps to vent their anger at Congress and at a federal budget they said does not solve the country's financial problems.
"A popular theme these days is to throw all the rascals out," said John Gosbee, an organizer of the rally. He chided Congress for increasing the gasoline tax at a time of soaring gasoline prices.
In Georgia, about 20 protesters sarcastically mimicked Bush's 1988 campaign pledge not to raise taxes. "President Bush, read our lips: No new taxes," they shouted at several of the rallies.
Rallies also took place in a number of Texas cities, including San Antonio and Houston.
The demonstrations came as Newsweek magazine released the results of a poll by the Gallup Organization showing Bush had slipped to the lowest approval rating of his presidency. The poll showed 48 percent of the people interviewed approved of Bush's handling of his job, down from 57 percent on Oct. 19.