The general welfare clause is located in Article 1, Section 8.
"The Congress shall have 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; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"
You'll notice it says to provide for the general welfare. That is the general welfare clause. So, exactly what were the founding fathers referring to? Today, it is a broad term used for just about anything the politician can spin as being good for the people. From welfare, healthcare, education to numerous growing list of government departments. But did the founding fathers really leave such a big broad general word for us? It seems it goes against the theory of limited government as they can, and do, just about anything. Doesn't sound like limited government to me, does it to you?
However, if you look across the constitution, you'll find that term 1 other place. That place is in the preamble. The preamble of the constitution is the start of it, and describes the general purpose of the constitution.
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
So, right here it says that the purpose of atleast part of the constitution was to promote the general welfare. So, what part is it referring to? The part where it says it is to provide the general welfare, where it is today used as undefined? Hardly. The part of the constitution which defines the general welfare are the amendments themselves. And the general welfare clause of the articles, is defined, and it is where congress is given the power to ensure our defined rights are not trampled on.
So, what part of the constitution limits the federal governments ability to expand the general welfare clause beyond the amendments? This is right guaranteed by the 10th amendment, part of our Bill of Rights.
It is a direct violation of every citizens bill of rights - republican, democrat, and independent for congress to abuse the general welfare clause to remove the limits put on them. It is the violation of our 10th amendment right that has lead to our problems today. Reinstating the 10th amendment is the 1st step to returning our country to it's greatness. In future posts, I will explain how social programs can still exist.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."