Why Does the Government Need to Collect Taxes?

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Tax money is collected by the government to fund government services or goods. The tax budget is divided into both mandatory and discretionary spending, depending on how it is allocated each year.

Taxation is a controversial topic and often one of the main topics highlighted in a political platform. While some taxation is needed for basic maintenance of a country's infrastructure, government operation and employees, such as police and firefighters, many citizens are wary of wasted money collected from taxes. The tax budget in the United States goes towards military spending, welfare, medical services and Social Security. The optimal level of taxes can change in time depending on economic stresses on a country.