Usually politicians wait until after they get elected to break their campaign promises against raising taxes, but Hillary Clinton is exceptional.
Mrs. Clinton has been going around promising not to raise middle class taxes. On Friday, April 22, in Scranton, Pa., she said, according to a transcript provided by her campaign, "I am the only candidate running in either party who has pledged I will not raise middle class taxes because the middle class needs a raise, not a tax increase." On April 18, in Staten Island, she said, "I'm the only candidate who has said this: I will not raise taxes on the middle class at all, period." (I wrote a column last year about Mrs. Clinton's tax pledge, if you are interested in learning more.)
Yet on April 20, in Philadelphia, Mrs. Clinton came out in favor of a three-cent-an-ounce soda tax. That would apply to anyone who buys soda, including middle-class soda drinkers. CNN quoted her as saying, "I'm very supportive of the mayor's proposal to tax soda."
Mrs. Clinton could harmonize the apparent contradiction by explaining that she's okay with tax increases on the middle class if they are imposed at the state or local rather than the federal level. Or she could claim that because the Philadelphia soda tax is ostensibly to fund expanded pre-kindergarden availability, on a net basis the middle class will benefit. Either explanation strikes me as stretch.
This is the sort of thing that a reasonably alert press corps might highlight. But I haven't yet seen any coverage of the dissonance. It may not be getting much attention because no one believes Mrs. Clinton's campaign tax "pledge" to begin with. Instead of covering this contradiction, high-profile journalists such as Nicholas Kristof and Jill Abramson are busy reminding us all that Mrs. Clinton is "fundamentally honest and trustworthy."