They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare…
They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.
Context: Opinion on a National Bank
Tags: Union, distinct, enumerations, general welfare, independent, power, taxes