Seems every debate with someone from the left on the site reverts back to The General Welfare Clause as the justification for every power grab taken by federal government. I think Wiki has a pretty good and basic description, and wanted to share this information. The welfare clause in the preamble is worthless (legally speaking), and the one in the taxation clause is NOT a grant of new powers but a qualification on taxation. Meaning taxes could only be levied for the general welfare of all. You cant tax the rich for the poor, or tax California to give to red state. Cant tax for the specific benefit of any ONE group, the tax can only be for general welfare of all.
The United States Constitution contains two references to "the General Welfare", one occurring in the Preamble and the other in the Taxing and Spending Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments."
Moreover, the Supreme Court held the understanding of the General Welfare Clause contained in the Taxing and Spending Clause adheres to the construction given it by Associate Justice Joseph Story in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is not a grant of general legislative power, but a qualification on the taxing power which includes within it a federal power to spend federal revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government. The Court described Justice Story's view as the "Hamiltonian position", as Alexander Hamilton had elaborated his view of the taxing and spending powers in his 1791 Report on Manufactures. Story, however, attributes the position's initial appearance to Thomas Jefferson, in his Opinion on the Bank of the United States.
As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government.