Tag Archives: general welfare

Subverting the Constitution: Madison on General Welfare and Common Defense

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The words “provide for the common defense and general welfare” rank among the most abused phrases in the Constitution. I often refer to this as the “anything and everything clause.” Partisans on both the political left and right use “general welfare and common defense” to justify all kinds of federal actions, from wars to social […]

Thoughts from Maharrey Head #91: Anything and Everything for Common Defense?

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“10 Minutes Closer to Freedom” In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I talk about the “provide for for the common defense” clause in the Constitution. Progressives have long used “general welfare” as an “anything and everything” clause to justify all kinds of unconstitutional overreach, from federal meddling in education to national healthcare. The […]

Constitution 101: To Provide for the Common Defense

Army Capt. Devin Ciminero, company commander, attached to Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, watches his sector while serving as personal security for the civil affairs team speaking with a local school teacher in Alingar district July 13. Laghman PRT's mission was to meet with the Alingar district leaders then perform a final inspection on two construction projects in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane)

The left uses the general welfare clause as its “the federal government can do anything and everything clause.” Meanwhile, the right has turned the phrase “provide for the common defense” into a similar justification for federal overreach. Progressives invoke the general welfare clause to justify all kinds of unconstitutional federal actions, from national healthcare to […]

Thoughts from Maharrey Head #48: The Constitution & General Welfare


“10 Minutes Closer to Freedom” In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I explain the original meaning of the General Welfare Clause. The federal government involves itself in nearly every aspect of American life. Government officials and apologists for governopoly often point the the Constitution’s General Welfare Clause for its justification. They argue that […]

Planned Parenthood Funding Unconstitutional; So is Republican Defunding Plan

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One of the great debates over the last few weeks has centered around Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. The brouhaha started with the release of a series of undercover videos produced by anti-abortion activists that appeared to prove the organization sells fetal tissue. That prompted conservatives to call on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. […]

Constitution101: The General Welfare Clause

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When challenged on the federal government’s constitutional authority to create welfare programs, meddle in education or run a national healthcare system, progressives will almost always appeal to the “general welfare clause.” Huffington Post columnist Paul Abrams demonstrated this line of thinking in a March 9, 2011, piece. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 grants the […]