A scene from the Tennessee Tea Party

Frustrated citizens in more than 30 cities across the country gathered in a national “tea party” protest today to denounce the trillions of dollars in taxpayer money the federal government is doling out in the name of financial bailouts and economic “stimulus.”

Carrying signs with feisty slogans like “Honk if you want to pay my mortgage” and “Obamanomics: Chains we can believe in,” Americans from San Diego to Boston, and many place in between, gathered in parks and on capitol building steps to voice their displeasure.

Stefanie Huffaker brought her 9-year-old daughter to the capitol in Lansing, Mich., to join the Michigan Tea Party.

“I want the president and the Congress to know that they’re spending too much money,” Huffaker told the Detroit Free Press. “We don’t have it. It seems like there’s no end.”

Ben Cunningham joined a crowd of hundreds outside the capitol building in Nashville, Tenn.

“We have got to call them on this abuse of power,” Cunningham said through a megaphone. “It doesn’t matter whether they have an R or a D or an I [after their name], we have got to hold them accountable.”

The tea parties were sparked by reaction to CNBC analyst Rick Santelli’s rant last week against Obama’s mortgage assistance plan. As WND reported, Santelli became a YouTube sensation after he decried the proposed $275 billion deficit-financed homeowner bailout plan and other massive spending measures with a call for a new “tea party” from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Kellen Giuda, an architect who was recently laid-off, told WND he was inspired by Santelli to organize a tea party in New York City.

“I saw Rick Santelli’s rant, live, and thought it was awesome,” he told WND. “All of this fiscal irresponsibility is absurd.”

He continued, “Then I started hearing about tea parties, and I decided to do it. It’s really exciting. There are a lot of people getting involved now.”

WND published earlier a partial list of more than 40 cities planning tea parties, including some that will be held over the next few months.

Floridians Unite is looking down the road and planning an Orlando Tea Party for March 21.

“This will be a peaceful rally to unite our voices and express the love that we have for our great nation and the principles it was founded on,” states the Floridians Unite website. “We want to make our politicians hear loud and clear that we are tired of the bailouts, the wasteful Washington spending and the push towards the socialization of this country! We want less government! We want to decide where our hard-earned money goes instead of the elitist politicians in Washington taking it and using it to buy votes, doling it out to special interest groups and pork barrel projects! We want our constitutional rights preserved and protected, not trampled on!”

At the Pittsburgh, Pa., Tea Party on April 11, organizers are inviting people to help them reenact the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, 1773, by bringing one tea bag each to Point State Park with plans of actually tossing the tea into the Alleghany, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.

Sound off about the spending plans, announce your next tea party event or just keep up to date at WND’s new Tea Party forum, at this link.

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