At the risk of three-peating myself, I thought this subject was worthy of it's own thread.
It is absolutely critical to the freedom of this country that this "clause" be put into context and the notion that it justifies the multitude of social programs MUST be absolutely destroyed.
Liberals have used this as a justification for Health Care, Social Security, Medicare, Welfare and all sorts of unconstitutional laws and programs, and if allowed to stand, there is literally NOTHING the federal government cannot do - and our very liberty is in peril.
This is a take off from a comment that Night Owl made in another thread.
This is what the primary author of the Constitution had to say on using the General Welfare "clause" in the way the liberals are using it.
From Federalist #41 - where Madison addresses this exact topic:
Pretty much what the left and you are arguing today.Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,’’ amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.
He proclaimed such things as dispicable and anyone STOOPING so low proved just how desperate those who argue against the Constitution by implying the "general welfare" wording in such a way were.No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.
James Madison continues:
He is stating that ALL of the powers of congress are specifically listed, and to include General welfare as such a power would be the power to destroy the press, trial by jury etc., would literally give the government any power it desired - all they had to do was to couch it in the terms "for the general welfare".A power to de- stroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms “to raise money for the general welfare. ‘’But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?
But because of the way it is written, Madison argued, no well meaning person would argue that the Constitution could be interpreted that way
He said: (picking up part of the earlier quote for clarity)
But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions
be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.
The author of the Constitution itself would beg to differ.
Here is Federalist #41 in it's entirety. The parts I excerpted begin on page 185 (left column)