As worries over the nation's financial crisis mount once again, there's no shortage of opinions in the D.C. area about how the government can help fix things. Two groups with starkly opposing points of view rallied at different sites in northern Virginia yesterday carrying two vastly different messages.
D.C. resident Andre Henson, 22, marched with hundreds of other unemployed protesters outside the Herndon, Va., office of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), demanding that Congress do more to create jobs.
Henson needs a job so he can care for his 8-month-old daughter. He said there's enough anger over the economy for all the politicians in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike.
"We put them in office, and they made promises they can't keep," he said. "Like, they're supposed to create jobs, and they have not done that."
Kendall Fells, the executive director of Our DC, which organized the protest, said congressmen such as Wolf are more worried about protecting corporate profits than they are about creating jobs for average Americans.
Our DC has targeted Wolf for voting against Homeland Security funding that they say could have brought 20,000 jobs to D.C.. Their "Where's Wolf" campaign has continued for six separate protests, including one at Wolf's church in Vienna Aug. 15.
"And it's time for them to use the money that they got from us, and the money that they're making off our backs to put us back to work while we're suffering out here," Fells said.
But while Fells and his fellow protesters were calling on Congress to create jobs, Northern Virginia Tea Party members were gathering in Arlington and calling for a different approach.
Alexandria resident Phillip Bell said what government needs to do is lower taxes for everyone and reduce restrictions on corporations -- the only real job creators America can count on.
"What we need to do is free up everybody. The folks on Wall Street didn't do anything that's bad," Bell said. "Let's let them succeed, too, and let everybody else go along."
Bell said he's optimistic about the economy, but only if leaders in Washington move toward letting individual Americans keep more of their own money.
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