This post is inspired by the continual misunderstanding of the “General Welfare” clause of the U.S. Constitution. This is one of the most misunderstood parts of the Constitution. Most statists think this phrase gives the Federal Government carte blanche to spend money on anything that may be good for anyone in the U.S.
Stating it as this reporter does just illustrates his colossal ignorance. The General Welfare clause gives no spending authority at all, but is a limit on spending authority.
Let me start by telling you where the spending authority of Congress does come from. In article 1 section 8 of the Constitution there are several powers that are given to congress. Within each of those powers there is an implied power to spend. In other words, Congress is given the power to raise an army, this implies the power to pay the troops and buy weapons. For each listed power the congress as authorization to spend and carry out those functions.
Now lets look at the General Welfare clause, “The congress is authorized to raise taxes, to spend on the common defense and the general welfare.” What the framers are saying here is that the money they spend has to be spent on the whole of the U.S. That is to say they cannot build postal roads only in Massachusetts (to the detriment of Georgia). So any monies they spend must be on the whole, not just one part.
Latest posts by Timothy Reeves (see all)
- Don’t Fall for Their Trap, Keep it In House! - June 30, 2014
- Are we Done Waiting Yet? - June 19, 2014
- Hold Your Nose and Vote for the Other Guy? No way. - April 14, 2014