OGDEN — Retired elementary school teacher Leland “Rowdy” Yates had a warm KISS for the federal government on Valentine’s Day.
“Keep It Simple, Silly,” was the message the 63-year-old Brigham City resident was hoping to deliver to federal officials when it comes to America’s current tax code.
The U.S. tax code is anything but simple, said Yates, who positioned himself Thursday afternoon just outside the fence line of the Ogden IRS Service Center on 12th Street.
“I’m here to clarify what is legitimate taxation, and what isn’t,” said Yates, who was recording everything he was saying into a video recording device he set up on a tripod.
“Audit programs and politicians, not citizens,” added Yates, who was wearing a bright pink fuzzy top hat, and placed five cherry-red balloons near where he was standing.
Before taking a position near the federal building, Yates said, he had received prior permission from the Ogden Service Center security officers to be there.
Yates said he also selected this month to deliver what would be a two-hour dissertation because February marks the 100th anniversary of the 16th Amendment, which deals with the implementation of an income tax.
Had it not been for that amendment, Yates said, the country would not be approaching the fiscal cliff that it is.
“We’re so dang broke,” he said of the country, “that we ought to file for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy).”
As spirted and colorful as Yates was, his delivery drew no crowd or supporters.