The July 12 issue of The Roanoke Times buried a small article from the Associated Press on the bottom of the third page of the second section that, when taken in context, defines the priorities of the Trump administration as clearly as any action taken so far.

During the 2016 campaign, promises to reduce drug prices were a major part of Candidate Trump's pledge to American voters. In May 2018, a mere 16 months after taking office, the President announced his plan to fulfill that campaign promise. The current announcement simply states that the White House "yanked" this plan, apparently because of an estimate that it would have cost the federal government $177 billion over the next 10 years.

To put this into proper perspective, we must recall that the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the Trump Administration's 2017 tax cut would add $1 trillion -- that's $1,000 billion -- to the deficit over the same 10 year period. In other words, the tax cut will increase the deficit more than five and a half times the amount that the plan to reduce drug prices was projected to have done.

During the 2016 campaign, Candidate Trump famously told the Washington Post that he would eliminate the national debt entirely over a period of eight years, declaring himself to be the "King of Debt."

It is perhaps of no small comfort to those struggling with costly prescription bills that the Trump Administration now has its fiscal hat back on straight and is once again concerned with deficit spending.

Promises kept? Which ones?

PETE HAMILTON

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY

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