This is a question for the strict constitutionalists who believe we take the constitution literally, exactly as written. Section 8 of Article 1 in known as the "enumerated powers" section. Here is where the various powers granted the congress are spelled out. The first article in that section is quoted, verbatim, below. Section 8 1: 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; Taking that literally, strictly as written, how does that limit the power of congress to legislate on any social program it chooses so long as it provides for the "general welfare"? It is quite simple. The founders were educated and very literate. How can you interpret that any other way? Remember though, you are not supposed to interpret, you are to take it literally.