Dear Editor:

Included in the August 1, 2011 issue of the TIMES NEWS, there was a letter to the editor by Larry Padora misleading the readers about my position on the debt. Mr. Padora is entitled to his opinion but not his own set of facts.

The author writes, "Holden's latest stunner is that he agrees with Barack Obama that Uncle Sam's credit card limit should be increased beyond $14.3 trillion and that wasteful spending shouldn't be decreased as a condition for increasing the credit card limit!" Firstly, when the House took a clean vote on increasing the debt ceiling on May 31, 2011, I voted against this measure (Roll Call 379).

He then states, "We shouldn't even be considering raising the debt limit, let alone increasing it with 'no strings attached,' as Holden wants." Secondly, the final package I voted for to raise the debt ceiling included cutting $900 billion in spending over the next decade and creating a new legislative committee to come up with at least $1.2 trillion in additional savings by the end of this year (Roll Call 690).

Allowing America to default on its payments is simply unacceptable and would have wreaked havoc on financial markets in the United States and throughout the world. Congress first established a ceiling on the total amount of bonds that could be issued in order to provide more flexibility to finance the United States' involvement in World War I.

Since 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised seventy-five times including eighteen times under President Reagan. During our most recent debate, credit rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade the United States' AAA rating if we didn't extend the debt ceiling and take steps to bring long-term deficits under control.

If we defaulted, we would have lost our triple AAA credit rating, threatening our ability to borrow in the future. In addition, interest rates would have skyrocketed on credit cards, mortgages and car loans for millions of Americans who were already beginning to see their investments and savings take a hit to due to the uncertainty of the markets.

Moving forward, we need responsible fiscal change that protects programs like Social Security and Medicare, ensures stability in our markets, yet gets our nation's deficit under control.

Sincerely,

Tim Holden

Member of Congress