The General Welfare Clause and the Public Trust: An Essay in Original Understanding

56 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2012

See all articles by Robert G. Natelson

Robert G. Natelson

Independence & Montana Policy Institutes

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

This paper examines the original understanding behind the U.S. Constitution's controversial "General Welfare Clause." Based on Founding-Era word usage, public representations by advocates of the Constitution, and other historical evidence, the paper concludes that the General Welfare Clause is a limitation on the taxing power. The position of the modern Supreme Court --- that the Clause authorizes spending for the general welfare --- is based on insufficient research and an anachronistic understanding of language.

Suggested Citation

Natelson, Robert G., The General Welfare Clause and the Public Trust: An Essay in Original Understanding (2003). Kansas Law Review, Vol. 52, p. 1, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1979015

Robert G. Natelson (Contact Author)

Independence & Montana Policy Institutes ( email )

727 E. 16th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
United States
303-279-6536 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://robnatelson.com

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