Paul Foer says no one had ever given him an example of "bias in the press." Here's one - associated with the latest financial crises - from Page A2, the lead item in "National Digest" (The Sunday Capital, Dec. 13) on the $1 trillion coin.

The assertion that the United States government will not pay its debts is false. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment provides that "...the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law...shall not be questioned;" this prevents Congress (or the president) from repudiating the federal government's lawfully incurred debts. Debate while drafting and court cases; e.g. Perry v. United States (1935) make clear this protects the nation's debts as a whole.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling, preventing new borrowing, does not and cannot put America's current creditors at risk. So long as this government exists, and barring a further constitutional amendment, those creditors must be paid.

Claims Congress must raise the debt ceiling to pay for entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, are false. Entitlement programs are political measures that one Congress cannot, by simple legislation, prevent a future Congress from making cuts. The Supreme Court in Flemming v. Nestor (1960) noted that entitlements "... remain subject to subsequent legislation by the sovereign..." Congress can reduce payments to programs by amending statues, or by simply failing to appropriate sufficient funds to pay for them.

If Congress fails to increase the debt ceiling as much as the president wants, payment on the public debt will still be made. Unless Chief Justice John Roberts rewrites the Constitution and laws this time, the president will have to make some choices: The president said he would cut defense to pay for food stamps.

We need this discussion. The popular press should explain what is actually at stake.