James Madison on the General Welfare Clause

James Madison
James Madison

 

Prophetic!

Federalist Papers:

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands;they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.

One thought on “James Madison on the General Welfare Clause”

  1. Which Federalist Paper? I cannot find this in any copy of the Papers I can locate and search

    [Political Arena Editor Responds – Madison speaks of this using a very similar argument in Federalist 37-43, but this particular exact quote was at the state ratification convention he attended. By the way, using Google I found the references in about 15 seconds.]

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