Maintaining a safe food supply falls into the category of "general Welfare." It is difficult to see how the free market could ensure a safe food supply, without a system in place to test food, without adequate science-based regulations and policies in place as a guide, or without a central clearing-house for information that must be disseminated rapidly to millions of people. Because in any system that depends on a free market reacting to a problem, people will needlessly get hurt or even killed by the time a problem is even discovered (if it can be identified at all).
I have no issue with the federal government fulfilling its constitutional duties. The problem I see is that legitimate constitutional functions are used as an excuse to cross over into tyranny (like forcing restaurants to stop using salt, even though it is a necessary nutrient).
It says it “shall have the power,” not, “it must do.”
Abuse of the General Welfare clause is the most-employed method of unconstitutional expansion of Federal powers.
The general welfare clause is limited by the following expressed legislative powers. They can lay and collect taxes to provide for the general welfare pursuant to the limited power of Congress as further laid out in the article. If that were not the case, why would they bother listing further what they can and cannot do? Why list the common defense, even? Congress could be dealt with in one sentence, reading “The Congress shall have the power to do whatever it wants to provide for the general welfare.”
By the way, you’ll see what you mention is only the power to tax. That is not the power to spend, to regulate, or whatever else you desire. Once you have the money, you can only do with it not whatever provides for the general welfare, but what the Constitution further says is Congress’ power. This is born out by the 10th amendment, which clarifies that all power not explicitly granted to the central government is reserved by the states and the people. There’s no way either group gave up whatever is in the general welfare, for that is according to how it’s interpreted nowadays to give up nearly all power.
Madison is clear as a bell on this issue. So is Hamilton, when he wasn’t advocating for his own pet projects.
“people will needlessly get hurt or even killed by the time a problem is even discovered.”
And no one will ever suffer with the feds in charge. Why, before the FDA bodies were writhing in street, without anyone even guessing why. Now, no one’s heard of such a thing as tainted food, let alone eaten it. Every time a leaf of lettuce is contaminated a federal official’s senses tingle, and he sends helpers to the four corners of the country to find it. No one ever gets special treatment. They never ban substances that aren’t an actual danger or punish businesses that don’t endanger the public.
Also, water isn’t wet and hamburgers eat people.
Salt bans, by the way, have only been on local level Cities don’t need no general welfare clause. Although, I wouldn’t object too fiercely to a 9th amendment challenge on a salt rights basis.
General Welfare? You need to do some reading about what our Founding Fathers meant by general welfare. The market place does a fine job of regulating food safety. The government adds little value at great expense. The USDA's budget is over $135 Billion per year. A good chunk of what the pencil necked geeks sitting in Washington is create regulations forcing farmers into following useless and expensive regulations. Those pencil necked geeks never worked on a farm, and they look down their nose at the what they consider red neck or huckleberry farmers. So we pay taxes to pay for the USDA and then we have to pay higher prices at the grocery store.
To hell with the USDA. I am willing to take my chances with food safety without them ... actually, I do all the time. I grow vegetables, hunt and fish. I have never been sick.