Encarta 9 (World English Dictionary, “The”, http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861719495)
2. indicating generic class: used to refer to a person or thingconsidered generically or universally Exercise is good for the heart.
She played the violin.
The dog is a loyal pet.
“[Government] In theUnited States, government consists of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in addition to administrative agencies. In a broader sense, includes the federal government and all its agencies and bureaus, state and county governments, and city and township governments.”