Constituion Costs

Lesson Duration

Author:  EconEdLink

“We the People…” The Preamble to the United States Constitution starts with that phrase. What does it mean? It is a phrase we hear often, but what does it mean? How do “We, the people” actually do anything together with one another, in a country as large and diverse as our country is? How do we maintain a sense of union over time? One way is through exercising shared responsibility for certain services the government provides.

These services are paid for through a system of taxation. What are the services that the federal government provides, and why should everyone in the country pay for them? This lesson will help you understand the government’s role in providing some protections and services to all our country’s citizens, and the reason we pay taxes to fund those protections and services.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the government in providing services that otherwise would not be profitable.
  • Describe the justification for taxing citizens to provide these services.
  • Identify examples of services that are provided by the federal government and debate the appropriateness of federal taxes providing those services.



EconEdLink, from the Council for Economic Education, provides a source of classroom-tested, Internet-based economic and personal finance lesson materials for K-12 teachers and their students.