Hillary Clinton would not veto a middle class payroll tax increase if it reached her desk as President, she said Monday at an Iowa candidate forum. The admission is a stunning reversal of her repeatedly stated pledge not to raise taxes on any American making less than $250,000 per year.
Clinton made the middle-class tax promise in November and in the ensuing weeks has continually cited the pledge as she campaigned across the country.
But on Monday, during the Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum at Drake University in Des Moines, Clinton was pointedly asked if she would veto a payroll tax:
Moderator Alicia Menendez: “Democrats have introduced a plan that Senator Sanders supports that you’ve come out against because it is funded by a payroll tax. If that were to reach your desk as President, would you veto it in order to make good on your tax pledge?”
Hillary Clinton: “No. No.”
Clinton’s outright admission that she would break her middle class tax pledge follows a Dec. 6 remark that the pledge was a mere “goal.” The “goal” comment took place during an interview on ABC’s This Week hosted by George Stephanopoulos:
Stephanopoulos: “You are also saying no tax increases at all on anyone earning $250,000. Is that a rock solid read-my-lips promise?”
Clinton: “Well, it certainly is my goal. And I’ve laid it out in this campaign. And it’s something that President Obama promised. It’s something my husband certainly tried to achieve. Because I want Americans to know that I get it.”
The plan referenced in Monday’s forum is the FAMILY Act, which calls for a payroll tax increase on all Americans, levied on all wages up to $113,700.
Said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform: “Hillary is up front saying, ‘I’m going to lie my way into office.’”
Video of Hillary’s tax hike admission can be viewed here. The relevant portion begins at 1:47:00.