"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;.."
It's interesting how "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" is interpreted.. here's a quote from the idiots at usconstitution.net:
welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [
Welfare in today's context also means organized efforts on the part of public or private organizations to benefit the poor, or simply public assistance. This is not the meaning of the word as used in the Constitution.
The second part is an editorial. It seems to be in direct conflict with the definition they've pulled from a "period dictionary". This fight has been raging for a long time, but it seems pretty fucking clear cut to me: the constitution directly charges congress with the task of "[providing] for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States". Unless, of course, providing for health, happiness, prosperity really just means giving those with enough plenty more. I am fairly certain that was not what was in mind. I suppose a really good way to positively determine that the quoted portion of the US Constitution is to read the objections to it brought up in the federalist papers.. Some didn't want that in there because it DIRECTLY OBLIGED CONGRESS TO DO JUST WHAT THEY SAY IT ISN'T SUPPOSED TO! ...They didn't want the government to create a safety net, and to that end objected to that being in the constitution. We can therefore conclude, with very little question, that the quoted piece means exactly what we think it means. It's interesting how the right claims to have a monopoly on the constitution, when in reality the thing was a compromise between the same two opposing sides we see today.
Fucking assholes. You'd have to interpret the damn thing to make that paragraph be anything OTHER than providing a social safety net, roads, schools, etc, etc etc.
Sorry about the caps. This is obviously a point of anger for me.