Liberals and conservatives in the United States don’t agree on much these days, and the basic philosophical difference driving this acrimony concerns the role of government. From abortion to firearms to health care, liberals generally favor a stronger government role, while conservatives prefer less intervention. But even the most budget-conscious, freedom-loving conservatives agree the federal government performs many essential duties. National defense is nice. So are air traffic controllers, USDA inspectors, veterans benefits, interstate highways … the list goes on. But beyond that, the U.S. government provides many services you may use without realizing the hidden hand of Uncle Sam at work. Some you probably use everyday; others you may not need unless you’re faced with a life-threatening situation. As the gridlock in Washington drags on, here are five vital yet overlooked services provided by the federal government.