Secretary of the Treasury: Chief Financial Officer of the US
It’s the Treasury secretary’s job to make sure the country’s economy runs smoothly.
By: Jeff Charles | February 27, 2021 | 451 Words
The secretary of the Treasury is another key member of the president’s cabinet. The Treasury oversees the federal government’s economic policies and implements the programs chosen by the president. The department’s secretary is responsible for advising the chief executive on economic matters.
One of the secretary’s duties is overseeing the country’s financial sector, which is also known as “Wall Street.” This partially involves enforcing tax and finance laws. The department also consults with the nation’s largest companies to ensure that there are not major issues that could damage the overall economy.
The Treasury secretary also takes care of the nation’s currency. Janet Yellen, who is the current secretary, is responsible for deciding how much money to print and guiding monetary policy. The department also collaborates with the Federal Reserve on financial policy as well.
The secretary also decides how to borrow money to fund the federal government and can issue government bonds (also known as “treasuries”) that people can buy. Over time, the buyer can get their money back with interest – meaning that they get more than what they paid initially.
The Treasury also controls the Office of Tax Policy and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These agencies create and implement tax policies and collect taxes from the citizenry. The Office of Tax Policy is tasked with estimating tax revenues so that the president can create a budget and also collect outstanding debts from those who owe money.
History of the Treasury
The Treasury was established in 1789 by Congress, and Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary.
Hamilton, who was President George Washington’s right-hand man, was given this position because he had a history of managing finances. At this point in history, the country was in dire financial straits from having to fight the war against the British. But under Hamilton’s leadership, and the efforts of other Americans, the nation was able to pay off its debts and rebuild its financial reputation among other nations.
Over the years, the Treasury has gone through a number of changes as laws regarding finances, the economy, and taxes were implemented. The agency was also responsible for managing the U.S. Postal Service until 1829.
The secretary of the Treasury remains an essential part of a president’s cabinet and is often sought after for advice regarding economic issues. In the event of an economic catastrophe, this individual, along with the rest of the department, is largely responsible for developing solutions. Without this department, the United States would never have achieved the level of dominance that it has on the world stage.