As soon as peace was established, says Mr. Curtis, (Hist. Const. vol. 1, p. 384,) it became apparent, that while the [Articles of] Confederation was a government with the power of contracting debts, it was without the power of paying them. Id. p. 173, et seq. But the Congress did not claim that, under the pressure of necessity, or a latitudinous construction of the general welfare clause of the Articles of Confederation, it could assume power to raise money. The written charter of powers specified what might be done to provide for the general welfare; it clearly indicated the scope and meaning of that term, and Congress, in its actions, conformed thereto. But efforts were immediately commenced to procure from the States a further grant of power, by way of amendment to the Articles of Confederation, to enable Congress to levy duties, &c., for the express purpose of paying the debts, &c. The efforts were unsuccessful, but they resulted in the call of a national convention to revise the Articles of Confederation; which convention formed our present Constitution.
In other words: when the Articles of Confederation proved insufficient for the proper execution of government, because it gave Congress the responsibility to accrue debts but denied it the power to pay those debts, Congress did not use the "general welfare" clause as a means of creating a new power of taxation for itself. It did not claim that the Articles of Confederation were a "living constitution" and that the exigencies of the times demanded new powers to be imagined and created ex nihilo.
Admitting that Congress's desire to tax was a quite legitimate one, the solution sought was not that of a loose-constructionist reading of a living constitution, but rather, a convention was called to revise the actual terms of the Articles, resulting in our Constitution.
Why should our Constitution be any different today? If the Articles of Confederation were not living, then why should the Constitution be assumed to be living? The issue is this: if the Constitution today is living and can be amended on-the-fly, via a loose-constructionist reading, in order to answer new necessities not previously anticipated and provided for, then why is the Constitution necessary at all? The Articles of Confederation could have been read exactly the same way that loose-constructionists today (holding by the concept of a "living constitution") read the Constitution! So the whole concept of a "living constitution" begs the question: why do we even have the Constitution? Why were the Articles replaced rather than subjected to a "living Articles" reading?
Perkins further says,
We do not wish to be understood as intimating that the Constitution is beyond improvement; that progress will not render change necessary; but we do hold that such change, happily provided for in the Constitution itself, should be made in the mode therein prescribed. Ours is either a government of the Constitution, or it is not. If it is a government of the Constitution, then its execution, consistently with the laws made under it, is all the Federal Government that is necessary and proper for the welfare of the nation, and all to which the States and people can be rightfully subjected.In other words, the Amendment process is there for a reason!