The United States Government

"I believe the role of government is to help create good jobs; to increase our security at home and abroad; to reform government, making it smaller and less bureaucratic; and most important, to expand education and training so that all our citizens have the chance to make the most of their own lives."

-- President Bill Clinton
April 10, 1995

[Photo: The American system of government is established by the United States Constitution, which provides for three separate but equal branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial. Together, these branches make, execute, and interpret the laws that govern our country. Because each branch has both individual and shared powers, no one branch has more authority than the other two, and each is accountable to the others. This "checks and balances" system means that the balance of power in our government remains steady.

Many citizens write to the President to share their ideas about the role of government and to ask him what he does as the head of the executive branch. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the legislative, executive, and judicial sectors of our federal government.