What are taxes?
Taxes are money that people are required to pay to their local, state and federal governments.
Why do we have taxes?
Every service that the government provides us citizens is paid for by taxes. Without taxes, we wouldn’t have public schools, public parks to play in, paved roads, and public buses.
What do our taxes pay for?
Federal taxes pay for –
- Public health programs, like Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Social security – to provides retirement benefits and disability payments to our senior and disabled citizens.
- Defense and security – our country’s military expenses, Department of Defense, and Homeland Security.
- Anti-poverty or safety net programs – unemployment insurance, food assistance, low-income housing assistance, supplemental income, foster care and adoption programs.
- Interest on the national debt
- Other federal expenses, like scientific and medical research, transportation and infrastructure spending, education, etc.
While every state decides on its own priorities, state taxes usually pay for –
- Education programs, like public schools, community colleges and university systems.
- Public health programs, like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – these are jointly funded by federal and state governments.
- Justice programs, like state prisons.
- Other programs, like state infrastructure (roads, bridges), public transport, low income assistance, hospitals and parks and recreations.