Bob Etheridge’s Death Tax Flip Flop

How much has Congressman Etheridge changed since he went to Washington? A study last year found that repealing the “Death Tax” (also called estate or inheritance taxes) would create 42,000 North Carolina jobs. Without a death tax, small family businesses and farms wouldn’t have to be broken up and sold to pay taxes.

When he went to Washington, Congressman Etheridge was against the death tax. He said, “One of the largest obstacles to staying in business for families is Federal Estate taxes or death taxes. Before a family has even had the opportunity to properly mourn the passing of a loved one they must begin to face the task of settling the estate. Often a family must endure two deaths; the death of a loved one followed by the death of a business… People labor too long and hard throughout their lives to see the fruits of their work disappear into Uncle Sam’s pockets.” (Congressional Record, 6/10/97)

In his 2000 reelection campaign, Congressman Etheridge bragged about voting to repeal the death tax (News and Observer 10/24/00).

But after more than a decade in Washington, Congressman Etheridge now believes the money you worked to save over your lifetime or the business you built should be taxed when you die — last year, Congressman Etheridge voted to impose a 45% death tax.

And next year, thanks to the fact that Congressman Etheridge voted to adjourn Congress without addressing an automatic death tax increase scheduled for January 1, we will face a 55% death tax.

Right now, Bob Etheridge is running a tv ad claiming — falsely — I want to raise taxes. This ad says, “You do everything right. Work hard. Take responsibility. Pass it on to the next generation.” But Bob Etheridge just voted to impose a 45% death tax and failed to stop an automatic 55% death tax scheduled for January 1 — making it impossible for many North Carolinians to “pass it on to the next generation.”

So how could Congressman Etheridge go from being dead set against taxing estates when he was first elected to supporting a 55% death tax? The answer is simple. He’s now part of the Washington establishment. When he went to Washington, Bob Etheridge was one of us. Now he is one of them.

Which means the death tax will keep killing jobs until we vote Congressman Etheridge out of Congress.

UPDATE: Here is my new ad responding to Bob Etheridge’s attack on me on the issue of taxes. Please contribute as much as you can to help me get this ad in front of as many voters as possible.

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