Enforce This: Part 7 in the 7 Part Compact BBA Series
Previously, we covered the first five substantive sections of the Compact's Balanced Budget Amendment. Section 1 imposes a spending limit. Section 2 imposes a debt limit. Section 3 specifies the state approval process for increasing the debt limit. Section 4 furnishes the impoundment mechanism for enforcing the debt limit. Section 5 limits taxation to the least destructive tax policies. After you learned about these substantive sections, we explained how section 6 furnishes the necessary definitions to keep them strong. This posting deals with the last section of the Compact's BBA.
Section 7 of the Compact's Balanced Budget Amendment says that it is “self-enforcing.” The term is included because there is case law that says constitutional provisions are not necessarily effective or enforceable unless enforced by subsequent laws. We want our amendment to be effective and enforceable on its own terms, regardless of Congress' willingness to pass laws to enforce it. Upon ratification, the BBA immediately becomes enforceable.
Congratulations! You are now an expert in the Compact's Balanced Budget Amendment!