@Walrus: Yep, they call that the ‘good and plenty" clause. But here is what it says:Preamble: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.”Also the "powers’ of congress say: “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;”At the time – according to constitutional scholars – “welfare” means: "Welfarewelfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] Source: AHD
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."So yes, the government is to “promote” the general welfare of it’s citizens and can levy taxes for that end. But that does not mean that you give people money to live on but that they create an environment where the individual has the opportunity to work at a chosen task and support himself.