The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for June 26th, 2011

The Power of Icons in Ideology.

Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011

Bill Whiddle,  who is as solid and bright as any communications strategist I have ever seen, in the video below gives us a great refresher in advertising techniques, branding, political messaging, and what he calls “iconography”. The best modern text on this very subject comes from author David Kupellian in his book The Marketing of Evil.

Let me give you an example of what is meant by iconography.

The Nazi Brand:

We all know what the Nazi Swastika is. Today it represents the kind of leviathan state evil that resulted in the murder of millions. It is important to keep in mind that the perception of the Swastika icon or brand was not always so negative. In the 1930′s Hitler was the darling of a large portion of American leftist academia, the media and many leftist political groups. For several years until Hitler took the rest of the Czechoslovakia after being handed the Czech Sudetenlands his brand was largely respected by large groups of people. For years Hitler and Mussolini were treated as brilliant visionaries who had discovered a “third way” as it were.

 

A brand can have its meaning changed, but the iconography stays virtually forever. Just like…

The GM Brand:

Here is another icon whose brand has changed and is in the process of changing at this moment.

This brand symbol represents also used to be highly respected and in many ways revered. A true American icon. In short the GM brand used to mean this:

Now the GM brand is in the process of becoming a joke. Government Motors it is called. They make cars that are too expensive, do not hold up well, and that people do not want to drive. Ironically those are the qualities of the current status of government today.

Like all iconography, as we will see more of in the video below, the icon can be used against the brand.

 

 

 

The Obama Brand:

One will find that much of the same manipulation of iconography is used by the Obama brand and against it.

[Note: Disclaimer for leftists and idiots - We are NOT saying that Obama is the same thing as Hitler and neither is Bill Whiddle in the video below, so don't even go there. This is about the iconography ONLY!]

Posted in 2012, Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton | Leave a Comment »

Priceless: Why I’m a Democrat – College Democrats of America 2011 Summer Conference

Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011

UPDATE – It looks like the DNC found this little post and removed the video.  I should have archived it.  I found an unedited version of the video.

In the video they all use slogans except three who mention policy positions. [Editor's Note: In the video one person mentions NAFTA, which is just too long and complex of an issue to tackle in this post other than to say that here is a video of Bill Clinton's comments at the signing]

1 – The Civil Rights Act – which Democrats filibustered and Republicans voted for by an 82% margin (eventually Dems caved). Democrats filibustered (successfully stopping the bills) all of the civil rights legislation in the 1950′s all of what was overwhelmingly supported by Republicans. One look at inner cities and inner city schools which are controlled by the Democratic Party show that the party is exploiting black Americans and has no real interest in empowering them.

2 – The Patriot Act – of which internal violations of using the act illegally have gone up exponentially under this administration. Through fast and loose “interpretation” Democrats have expanded the Act and Obama has been the worst administration when it comes to abuse of privacy rights that I am aware of.

Obama promised to put an end to warrantless wiretapping and do something about the Patriot Act. Where are the so called “far left privacy advocates” now? The Obama Administration (along with a willing Democratic Leadership in Congress) has consistently (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,) pushed for more domestic spying ability and extended the Patriot Act. More spying includes including wanting more wire taps on the internet and arguing that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in email or cell phones or… well I think you got the point. Of course who was the first TV personality to speak out on these privacy violations. Clue: He’s the new Oprah.

Now we get to ask you if Obama is spying on YOUR library book list!

Related:

Patriot Act Warrants That Let Agents Enter Homes Without Owner Knowing Triple Under Obama

Google Comes Under Fire for ‘Secret’ Relationship with NSA. Cozy with Administration.

Obama Administration implemented policy to have political appointees review all FOIA requests….

Obama Administration wants more wiretaps on internet

Obama Administration Thinks Chicago’s Cameras Everywhere are Just Dandy

Obama Administration: You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in email or cell phones or…

3 – Because more women should be involved in politics - Wow that one is amazing. Shall we go through a list of Democrat misogyny hall of shame? While the first names that come up for sexual attacks, smears, lies, and name calling by Democrats are against Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Nikki Haley – Let us NOT forget how Hillary Clinton was mistreated by her fellow Democrats which resulted in the creation of dozens of PUMA groups and websites such as Hillbuzz. Remember how the Obama thugs used threats and in some cases physically kept Hillary delegates out of some caucuses? Remember how the Democrats “super delegates” stepped in when it looked like Hillary was going to win the nomination?

In fact Hillary Clinton’s own Communications Director Howard Wolfson said that Fox News was the only place where her campaign could get a fair shake because the Democrat Media Complex, also known as the elite media, was so grossly unfair even this web site spoke out against it.

This video is one the GOP can use, as it demonstrates that Democrats count on ignorance and mobocracy like sloganeering.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton | 5 Comments »

Kiplinger: 10 Tax-Friendly States For Retirees 2011

Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011

Great information to campaign with, especially in conjuction iwth our previous post.

Kiplinger:

Where’s the best state for you to retire? Here’s a good place to start your search: These ten impose the lowest taxes on retirees in the contiguous U.S., according to our research. All these retiree tax heavens exempt Social Security benefits from state income taxes. Many of them exclude government and military pensions from income taxes, too, or offer blanket exclusions up to a specific dollar amount for a wide variety of retirement income.

Although relocating to an income-tax-free state such as Florida or Texas may sound appealing, sometimes the best retirement destination is a state that imposes an income tax but offers generous exemptions for retirement income.

Once you narrow your search to a few key states, zero in on local taxes. Municipalities can impose hefty property taxes or other assessments, or they may layer local sales taxes on top of statewide levies. Federal taxes? If you claim the standard deduction, they’ll be the same no matter where you live. But if you itemize your deductions, you’ll be able to write off real estate taxes and state income taxes, reducing your federal tax bill and easing some of the pain.

 

# 1 Wyoming

State Income Tax: None
State Sales Tax: 4%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

Thanks to the abundant revenues that Wyoming collects from oil and mineral companies, its residents have one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit research group in Washington, D.C. There is no state income tax. The state sales tax is 4%, and counties in the Equality State can only add up to 1% in additional levies — a very low ceiling. Plus, prescription drugs and groceries are exempt from state sales taxes. For most property, only 9.5% of market value is subject to tax, so a home worth $100,000 is taxed on $9,500 of assessed value.

#2 Mississippi

State Income Tax: 3%-5%
State Sales Tax: 7%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

Mississippi offers a sweet income-tax deal for retirees. It not only exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes but also excludes all qualified retirement income — including pensions, annuities, and IRA and 401(k) distributions. Remaining income is taxed at a maximum 5%. In addition, the Magnolia State is home to some of the lowest property taxes in the nation. Residential property is taxed at 10% of assessed value, and seniors qualify for a homestead exemption on the first $75,000 of value. The statewide sales tax is 7%, and counties and cities may add up to 3% to the state rate. But prescription drugs and health care services are exempt.

#3 Pennsylvania

State Income Tax: Flat rate of 3.07%
State Sales Tax: 6%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/Yes

True to its Quaker roots, Pennsylvania extends a friendly hand to retirees. It offers unusually generous exclusions from state income tax on a wide variety of retirement income. Pennsylvania does not tax Social Security benefits or any type of public or private pensions. Nor does it nick distributions from 401(k)s, IRAs, deferred-compensation plans or other retirement accounts. Remaining income is taxed at a low, flat rate of 3.07%. Food, clothing and medicine are exempt from state sales taxes. Property taxes can be high in the Keystone State, especially near larger cities, but rates vary widely. One caveat for the wealthy: Your heirs won’t get off so easily. Pennsylvania is one of the few states to have both an inheritance tax, paid by the heirs, and an estate tax — though it applies only when an estate is large enough to trigger federal estate taxes ($5 million or more).

#4 Kentucky

State Income Tax: 2%-6%
State Sales Tax: 6%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes

The home of the Kentucky Derby is a good bet for retirees. It exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes, and it allows residents to exclude up to $41,110 per person in retirement income from a wide variety of sources, including public and private pensions and annuities. Personal income-tax rates range from 2% to 6%. A 6% sales tax is imposed at the state level only. Homeowners 65 and older qualify for a homestead provision that exempts part of the value of their property from state taxes. The Bluegrass State has an inheritance tax, but immediate family members are exempt.

#5 Alabama

State Income Tax: 2%-5%
State Sales Tax: 4%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

Alabama is a tax haven for retirees. Social Security benefits, as well as military, public and private defined-benefit pensions, are excluded from state income taxes. Remaining income is taxed at the state’s low rates, which range from 2% to 5%. Alabama also has some of the lowest property taxes in the U.S. Homeowners 65 and older are exempt from state property taxes, but some cities assess their own property tax. The only downside is sales taxes. Although the statewide rate is just 4%, cities and counties in the Yellowhammer State can impose their own levies, and together the taxes can add up to a whopping 10% or more in some cities. Food is taxed, but prescription drugs are not.

#6 Georgia

State Income Tax: 1%-6%
State Sales Tax: 4%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

Georgia offers a peachy tax environment for retirees. Social Security income is exempt from taxes and so is up to $35,000 per person of most types of retirement income, including pensions, annuities, rental income, interest, dividends and capital gains for residents 62 and older. Beginning in 2012, taxes on all retirement income will be phased out completely. Remaining income is taxed at rates ranging from 1% to 6%, with the top tax rate kicking in on income in excess of $7,000. The statewide sales tax is 4%, but local jurisdictions can add up to 4% of their own taxes. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from sales taxes. Full-time residents of the Peach State qualify for a homestead exemption, and residents 65 and older may qualify for additional property tax deductions.

#7 Oklahoma

State Income Tax: 0.5%-5.5%
State Sales Tax: 4.5%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

Oklahoma is more than OK for retirees. The Sooner State has been attracting newcomers since its days when settlers could claim 160 acres of public lands free. It does not tax Social Security benefits or the federal pensions of those who do not participate in the Social Security system. In addition, all residents can exclude up to $10,000 per person ($20,000 per couple) of other types of retirement income (previous income limits for claiming this exclusion were eliminated in 2010). Income-tax rates are low, ranging from 0.5% to 5.5%. Real estate is assessed at an amount between 11% and 13.5% of market value. The statewide sales tax is a modest 4.5%, with prescription drugs exempt. One thing to watch out for: Cities, towns and counties may levy additional sales taxes, which can make the combined sales tax rate top 8%.

#8 South Carolina

State Income Tax: 3%-7%
State Sales Tax: 6%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

South Carolina extends its Southern hospitality to retirees. The Palmetto State exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes, and it allows residents 65 and older to deduct up to $15,000 per person ($30,000 per couple) of qualified retirement income when calculating their state income tax. Retired military personnel 65 and older can deduct up to $10,000 of military retirement benefits. Property taxes are very low. Taxes are based on 4% of the market value of a home, and homeowners 65 and older qualify for a homestead exemption that excludes the first $50,000 of their property’s fair market value from property taxes. Sales taxes can be high, though. The statewide rate is 6%, and counties can levy an additional 2%. Prescription drugs are exempt.

#9 Delaware

State Income Tax: 2.2%-6.95%
State Sales Tax: None
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No

The First State is number one with many retirees, thanks to low real estate taxes, modest income taxes and no sales tax. Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits are exempt from income taxes, and residents 60 and older can exclude $12,500 per person of investment and qualified retirement income, including out-of-state pensions, dividends, interest and capital gains. Income-tax rates on remaining income range from 2.2% to 6.95%. The top tax rate kicks in when taxable income exceeds $60,000. Residents 65 and older who do not itemize their deductions are eligible for an additional standard deduction of $2,500. Real estate taxes vary by county but are generally low. Residents 65 and older can get a credit equal to half of the school property taxes, up to $500.

#10 Louisiana

State Income Tax: 2%-6%
State Sales Tax: 6%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes

Louisiana offers a bayou full of tax breaks to retirees. Social Security and military, civil-service, and state- and local-government pensions are exempt from state income taxes, plus up to $6,000 per person of pension and annuity income. Personal income tax rates are low, ranging from 2% to 6%. Property taxes are the lowest in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation, and assessments are based on 10% of the fair market value. But sales taxes can be steep. The statewide sales tax is 4%, but local parishes and jurisdictions within those parishes can add their own sales taxes. In New Orleans, the combined sales tax rate is 9%. But food and drugs are exempt from sales taxes throughout the Pelican State.

Posted in Chuck Norton | 1 Comment »

Kiplinger: 10 Tax-Unfriendly States for Retirees 2011

Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011

Great information to have and campaign on.

Via Yahoo News:

Some states offer attractive tax benefits for retirees. Then there are these ten tax hells, which have earned a place on our “do not live here for your second act” list either because of higher-than-average taxes across the board or because of policies that don’t exempt much retirement income from state taxation.

For retirees living on a fixed income, high income taxes, burdensome real estate taxes and hefty sales taxes on daily purchases can really eat into a nest egg. Choosing to relocate to — or stay put in — a state with a low overall tax burden can help stretch your retirement income.

#1 VERMONT
State Income Tax: 3.55%-8.95%
State Sales Tax: 6% (localities can add another 1%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No

There are no exemptions for retirement income in the Green Mountain State, except for Railroad Retirement benefits (which are exempt in every state). Out-of-state pensions are fully taxed. Vermont exempts medical devices and prescription and nonprescription drugs from its 6% sales tax. But it imposes a 9% tax on prepared foods, restaurant meals and lodging, and a levies a 10% sales tax on alcoholic beverages served in restaurants. Real estate taxes have two components: school property tax and municipal property tax collected by towns and cities where the property is located. The Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax-research group in Washington, D.C., lists Vermont’s property tax among the ten highest in the nation.

#2 MINNESOTA
State Income Tax: 5.35%-7.85%
State Sales Tax: 6.875% (cities and counties can add another 2.65%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

Minnesota offers retirees cold comfort on the tax front. Social Security income is taxed to the same extent it is taxed on your federal return. Pensions are taxable regardless of where your pension was earned. Income-tax rates are high, and sales taxes can reach 9.53% in some cities. Food, clothing, and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from sales taxes. The North Star State does offer some residents 65 and older who have income of $60,000 or less the option of deferring a portion of their property tax. But this is a low-interest loan, not a tax-forgiveness program.

#3 NEBRASKA
State Income Tax: 2.56%-6.84%
State Sales Tax: 5.5% (localities can add another 1.5%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes

There are no tax breaks for Social Security benefits and military pensions in the Cornhusker State. Real estate is assessed at 100% of fair market value. Residents 65 and older qualify for a homestead exemption on property taxes. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from state sales taxes. But Nebraska imposes an inheritance tax on all transfers of property and annuities.

#4 OREGON
State Income Tax: 5%-11%
State Sales Tax: None
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes

First, the upside: There’s no state sales tax in the Beaver State. But it shares the distinction with Hawaii of imposing the highest tax rate on personal income in the nation on taxable income of $250,000 or more. Although Oregon does not tax Social Security benefits, that’s the extent of its income-tax breaks for retirees. And Oregon has an inheritance tax that applies even to intangible personal property, such as investments and bank accounts, no matter where it is located.

#5 CALIFORNIA
State Income Tax: 1.25%-9.55%
State Sales Tax: 7.25% (effective July 1, 2011)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

The Golden State has lost its luster for many retirees. Although Social Security benefits are exempt from state income taxes, all other forms of retirement income are fully taxed. Californians pay some of the highest income taxes in the U.S., with the top rate of 9.55% kicking in at $46,767 of taxable income. State and local sales taxes can reach 9.25% in some cities, although food and prescription drugs are exempt. Real estate is assessed at 100% of cash value, but taxes are capped at 1% of value.

#6 MAINE
State Income Tax: 2%-8.5%
State Sales Tax: 5% (counties can add another 0.5%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No

Like the majority of states, Maine exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes. And residents can deduct up to $6,000 per person of eligible pension income. But remaining income in excess of $20,150 per year is taxed at a steep 8.5% rate. Residents of the Pine Tree State pay a 5% sales tax statewide on everything except food and prescription drugs. All real estate and personal property is subject to local property taxes (and, in some cases, state property taxes, too), but permanent residents can receive an exemption of $10,000 on the assessed value of their home. Maine is also one of only three states that do not allow cities and towns to impose their own local sales taxes.

#7 IOWA
State Income Tax: 0.36%-8.98%
State Sales Tax: 6% (localities can add another 1%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes

The Hawkeye State offers no feathered nest for retirees. Although it allows single retirees to exclude up to $6,000 of retirement-plan distributions from state income taxes, and married couples can exclude up to $12,000, the rest is taxed at rates as high as 8.98%. Iowa taxes a portion of residents’ Social Security benefits, too, although it is in the process of phasing out the Social Security tax, which is scheduled to disappear in 2014. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from the statewide 6% sales tax. Real estate is assessed at 100% of market value, and most property is taxed by more than one taxing authority, such as cities, counties and school districts. There is a small homestead tax credit for residents who live in-state at least six months of the year.

#8 WISCONSIN
State Income Tax: 4.6%-7.75%
State Sales Tax: 5% (counties can add another 0.5%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

The Dairy State exempts Social Security benefits and military-related pensions from its state income taxes, but it taxes most other pension and annuity income the same way the federal government does. Retirees 65 and older can subtract $5,000 of qualified retirement income, including IRA distributions, from their Wisconsin taxable income, subject to income restrictions. Some Wisconsin state- and local-government retirees qualify for a tax exemption. But out-of-state government pensions are fully taxed. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from state sales taxes. Some homeowners may qualify for a school property-tax credit against their state income tax.

#9 NEW JERSEY
State Income Tax: 1.4%-8.97%
State Sales Tax: 7%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/Yes

Its nickname may be the Garden State, but New Jersey is no Eden for retirees. The Tax Foundation says New Jersey’s combined state and local tax burden is the highest in the nation, thanks in part to sky-high property taxes. But there are a few bright spots: New Jersey does not tax Social Security benefits and military pensions. It also allows residents 62 or older with incomes of $100,000 or less to exclude up to $15,000 ($20,000 for married couples filing jointly) of retirement income, including pensions, annuities and IRA withdrawals. Groceries, medicine and clothing are exempt from the 7% statewide sales tax. The state imposes an inheritance tax on the transfer of real and personal property worth $500 or more, but bequests to family members are exempt. Even with the bright spots, it’s an expensive place to live for retirees.

#10 CONNECTICUT
State Income Tax: 3%-6.7%
State Sales Tax: 6.35%-7%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No

Connecticut can be inhospitable to retirees, depending on their income and where they earned their retirement benefits. Although some residents of the Constitution State can exclude their Social Security benefits from state income taxes, the exclusion applies only if their adjusted gross income is $50,000 or less ($60,000 or less for married couples). All out-of-state government and civil-service retirement pensions are fully taxed. Effective July 1, 2011, the sales tax rate statewide is 6.35%, with luxury items taxed at 7%. Connecticut residents pay some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation, but residents 65 and older qualify for an annual property tax credit or rent rebate.

 


Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »

Indiana has the second highest tax on diesel in the country, sixth highest gas tax. A list of fuel taxes by state.

Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011

View the PDF file from the American Petroleum Institute Right HERE.

For more charts and graphs ob fuel taxes see the following links:

http://www.api.org/statistics/fueltaxes/

http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastaxes.asp

Posted in Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes | Leave a Comment »

This lizard (read government) could cost up to 60,000 jobs and 25% of our national oil production.

Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011

The government says that where there is oil drilling there are less of these lizards per mile. An interesting method of measurement as there are no shortage of deer and how much space in my home town is covered by parking lots and malls? Deer can be seen every day and is hunted just to keep the numbers from getting out of control.

Massive new oil shale finds have been found in Texas and parts of New Mexico, enough to increase domestic production by 25%. The Obama Administration, if recent history is a guide, won’t have that. The lizard is very skiddish and lives mostly under the sand, so most people have never seen one (hmm I wonder how hard that makes them to count).

ABC News:

The sand dune lizard is a small reptile that has become the scourge of the Texas Oil industry, not because it is dangerous but because the threatened species could put land ripe for oil exploration off limits.

“As far as I am concerned, it is Godzilla,” Texas land commissioner Jerry Paterson told ABC News. “[It's] the biggest threat facing the oil business in memory,” said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. They believe the small tan-colored, insectivorous lizard could cost the oil industry and surrounding communities thousands of jobs.

About 63,000 Americans work in the oil and gas well industry as of September 2009, the most recent period available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. Most of those jobs are in Texas.

The federal government said the sand lizard is on the verge of extinction, and is expected to place it on the endangered species list soon.

If the species makes the list, its 800,000 acre habitat in the shinnery oak sand dune communities of southeastern New Mexico and southwestern Texas would receive protected status. That habitat happens to be right in the heart of Texas oil country.

“If the lizard is put on the endangered species list, then [rigs] would [be] shutdown,” Leslyn Wallace, a land manager at RSP Permian, told ABC News. That would cost many Texans their jobs.

But here is the rub, The eco-radicals in the government have used the Endangered Species Act as a weapon before to target the industries they despise. After the polar bear population had risen 30% the government decided to put the polar bear on the endangered species list anyways because of reductions in polar sea ice, which saw a cyclical low in 2007, but had already rebounded 27% in the following year and is still growing today.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »

 
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