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In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."  – Benjamin Franklin

It's pretty obvious that no one enjoys paying taxes, but as Benjamin Franklin said, they are an unavoidable part of life. What purpose do taxes serve, and why do we have to pay them?

The main reason taxes are levied, or charged, is to pay for the costs of government. In the last lesson we discussed a few of the services the government provides, such as the police force, public roads, and education. State and local governments provide these services. In addition, the federal government spends billions of dollars on national defense, Social security, and other programs. All of these programs must be paid for, and as you may have guessed, most of that cost is carried by taxpayers. 

About 80% of federal government income and 50% of state government income are supplied through taxes. The more programs the government uses, the higher taxes must be in order to pay for them.