Government is the group of people that make the rules that we all live by. It also makes sure those rules are followed and judges any problems that come up. Governments have different ways of doing things, but they all try to do the same thing: they give everyone a fair shot at life by making sure all adults follow the same rules.
The United States government is made up of the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch. The founding fathers, when designing our government, knew that they had to create a way for each of these branches to work well together. They did this by creating a system called checks and balances.
Each of these branches has its own job to do. The Congress, or legislative branch, makes laws for the whole country. The President, or executive branch, enforces the laws and makes sure they are followed. The courts, or judicial branch, judges if any of the laws are unfair or wrong. The President also makes deals with other countries through the executive branch.
In addition, there are many other jobs in the government that help to keep us safe and healthy. These include the police and fire departments. These help us if someone robs a store or tries to break into our house. They also keep our streets clean and provide us with mail services, food and housing, and education and health care. The government can only do all these jobs if people pay taxes for them. The money for taxes comes from those who buy, sell, or import goods and investments. It also comes from those who earn wages or own land, houses and businesses.
Most governments are organized into distinct institutions that have special powers, functions, duties and responsibilities. The number of these institutions and the distribution of their powers differs between governments.
All governments must find a way to finance their activities. Governments usually do this by levying taxes and tariffs on goods and services, or by borrowing. Sometimes, Congress, the legislative branch of the government, will authorize a budget that specifies specific projects. This is known as earmarks.
It is important for the public to know about the decisions that their government is making. This is why it is important that we have a free press, so we can see the information behind these decisions. We also have a right to access the documents and statistics that lead to these determinations.
The most important reason for a government is to provide security and stability for its citizens. The people need to be protected from threats and dangers, such as war or terrorist attacks. They also need to have a chance at prosperity, which means good economic conditions. Governments also need to protect their borders, and provide a place for their citizens to live and work. This can be done with military force and by making trade agreements. Governments also have diplomats who negotiate with other countries and solve disagreements or differences that may be threatening to one another.