|Formed||September 2, 1789|
|Jurisdiction||U.S. federal government|
|Headquarters|| Treasury Building |
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C., U.S
|Annual budget||$20 billion (2019)|
The Department of the Treasury (USDT)is the national treasury of the federal government of the United States where it serves as an executive department. The department oversees the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U.S. Mint; these two agencies are responsible for printing all paper currency and coins, while the Treasury executes its circulation in the domestic fiscal system. The USDT collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service; manages U.S. government debt instruments; licenses and supervises banks and thrift institutions; and advises the legislative and executive branches on matters of fiscal policy. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet. The Treasurer of the United States has limited statutory duties, but advises the Secretary on various matters such as coinage and currency production. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes.
Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11.Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration. The office is thus customarily referred to as “Treasury”, solely, without any preceding article, as a remnant of the country's transition from British to American English during the late 18th century. His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse. The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, who was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, was the incumbent treasurer, until January 15, 2020, when she left the office. It is currently vacant.
The history of the Department of the Treasury began in the turmoil of the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress at Philadelphia deliberated the crucial issue of financing a war of independence against Great Britain. The Congress had no power to levy and collect taxes, nor was there a tangible basis for securing funds from foreign investors or governments. The delegates resolved to issue paper money in the form of bills of credit, promising redemption in coin on faith in the revolutionary cause. On June 22, 1775—only a few days after the Battle of Bunker Hill—Congress issued $2 million in bills; on July 25, 28 citizens of Philadelphia were employed by Congress to sign and number the currency.
On July 29, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assigned the responsibility for the administration of the revolutionary government's finances to joint Continental treasurers George Clymer and Michael Hillegas. Congress stipulated that each of the colonies contribute to the Continental government's funds. To ensure proper and efficient handling of the growing national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies, the Congress, on February 17, 1776, designated a committee of five to superintend the Treasury, settle accounts, and report periodically to the Congress. On April 1, a Treasury Office of Accounts, consisting of an Auditor General and clerks, was established to facilitate the settlement of claims and to keep the public accounts for the government of the United Colonies. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newborn republic as a sovereign nation was able to secure loans from abroad.
Despite the infusion of foreign and domestic loans, the united colonies were unable to establish a well-organized agency for financial administration. Michael Hillegas was first called Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777. The Treasury Office was reorganized three times between 1778 and 1781. The $241.5 million in paper Continental bills devalued rapidly. By May 1781, the dollar collapsed at a rate of from 500 to 1000 to 1 against hard currency. Protests against the worthless money swept the colonies, giving rise to the expression "not worth a Continental". The office has, since the late 18th century, been customarily referred to as the singular “Treasury”, without any preceding article, as a remnant of the country's transition from British to American English. For example, the department notes its guiding purpose as "Treasury's mission" instead of "the Treasury's mission."
Robert Morris was designated Superintendent of Finance in 1781 and restored stability to the nation's finances. Morris, a wealthy colonial merchant, was nicknamed "the Financier" because of his reputation for procuring funds or goods on a moment's notice. His staff included a comptroller, a treasurer, a register, and auditors, who managed the country's finances through 1784, when Morris resigned because of ill health. The treasury board, consisting of three commissioners, continued to oversee the finances of the confederation of former colonies until September 1789.
The First Congress of the United States was called to convene in New York on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. On September 2, 1789, Congress created a permanent institution for the management of government finances:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department; a Comptroller, an Auditor, a Treasurer, a Register, and an Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, which assistant shall be appointed by the said Secretary.
Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. Hamilton had served as George Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution and was of great importance in the ratification of the Constitution. Because of his financial and managerial acumen, Hamilton was a logical choice for solving the problem of the new nation's heavy war debt. Hamilton's first official act was to submit a report to Congress in which he laid the foundation for the nation's financial health.
To the surprise of many legislators, he insisted upon federal assumption and dollar-for-dollar repayment of the country's $75 million debt in order to revitalize the public credit: "[T]he debt of the United States was the price of liberty. The faith of America has been repeatedly pledged for it, and with solemnities that give peculiar force to the obligation." Hamilton foresaw the development of industry and trade in the United States, suggesting that government revenues be based upon customs duties. His sound financial policies also inspired investment in the Bank of the United States, which acted as the government's fiscal agent.[ citation needed ]
The Treasury believes their seal was created by Francis Hopkinson, the Treasurer of Loans. He submitted bills to Congress in 1780 that authorized the design of department seals, including the seal for the Board of Treasury. While it is it not certain that Hopkinson designed the seal, it is very similar to others he's done.
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Congress transferred several agencies that had previously been under the aegis of the Treasury Department to other departments as a consequence of the September 11 attacks. Effective January 24, 2003, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), which had been a bureau of the Department since 1972, was extensively reorganized under the provisions of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The law enforcement functions of ATF, including the regulation of legitimate traffic in firearms and explosives, were transferred to the Department of Justice as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). The regulatory and tax collection functions of ATF related to legitimate traffic in alcohol and tobacco remained with the Treasury at its new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Effective March 1, 2003, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service were transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security ("DHS").
The basic functions of the Department of the Treasury mainly include:
With respect to the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, Treasury serves a purpose parallel to that of the Office of Management and Budget for the estimation of spending for the executive branch, the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenues for Congress, and the Congressional Budget Office for the estimation of spending for Congress.
From 1830 until 1901, responsibility for overseeing weights and measures was carried out by the Office of Standard Weights and Measures under the auspices of the Treasury Department.After 1901, responsibility was assigned to the agency that subsequently became known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The Department of the Treasury is organized into two major components: the Departmental offices and the operating bureaus. The Departmental Offices are primarily responsible for the formulation of policy and management of the Department as a whole, while the operating bureaus carry out the specific operations assigned to the Department.
|The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)||The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is responsible for enforcing and administering laws covering the production, use, and distribution of alcohol and tobacco products. TTB also collects excise taxes for firearms and ammunition.|
|The Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP)||The Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP) designs and manufactures U.S. currency, securities, and other official certificates and awards.|
|The Bureau of the Fiscal Service||The Bureau of the Fiscal Service was formed from the consolidation of the Financial Management Service and the Bureau of the Public Debt. Its mission is to promote the financial integrity and operational efficiency of the U.S. government through exceptional accounting, financing, collections, payments, and shared services.|
|The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund||The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund was created to expand the availability of credit, investment capital, and financial services in distressed urban and rural communities.|
|The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)||The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) supports law enforcement investigative efforts and fosters interagency and global cooperation against domestic and international financial crimes. It also provides U.S. policymakers with strategic analyses of domestic and worldwide trends and patterns.|
|The Inspector General||The Inspector General conducts independent audits, investigations and reviews to help the Treasury Department accomplish its mission; improve its programs and operations; promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness; and prevent and detect fraud and abuse.|
|The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)||The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) provides leadership and coordination and recommends policy for activities designed to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of the internal revenue laws. TIGTA also recommends policies to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in the programs and operations of the IRS and related entities.|
|The Internal Revenue Service||The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the largest of Treasury's bureaus. It is responsible for determining, assessing, and collecting internal revenue in the United States.|
|The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)||The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises national banks to ensure a safe, sound, and competitive banking system that supports the citizens, communities, and economy of the United States.|
|The U.S. Mint||The U.S. Mint designs and manufactures domestic, bullion and foreign coins as well as commemorative medals and other numismatic items. The Mint also distributes U.S. coins to the Federal Reserve banks as well as maintains physical custody and protection of the nation's silver and gold assets.|
The Treasury Department has authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $22.6 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows:
|Program||Funding (in millions)||Employees (in FTEs)|
|Management and Finance|
|Office of the Inspector General||$35||213|
|Inspector General for Tax Administration||$157||837|
|Special Inspector General for TARP||$34||192|
|Community Development Financial Institutions Fund||$225||73|
|Financial Crimes Enforcement Network||$108||346|
|Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau||$101||517|
|Bureau of the Fiscal Services||$348||2,350|
|Internal Revenue Service||$12,476||92,009|
|Office of Fiscal Stability||$184||86|
|Small Business Lending Programs||$17||25|
|State Small Business Credit Initiative||$7||12|
|Financial Stability Oversight Council||$20||26|
|Office of Financial Research||$92||249|
|Bureau of Engraving and Printing||$749||1,944|
|United States Mint||$3,571||1,874|
|Office of the Comptroller of the Currency||$1,104||3,997|
In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of the fifteen federal agencies that receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the Treasury failed to earn a satisfactory overall grade.
Treasury's mission highlights its role as the steward of U.S. economic and financial systems, and as an influential participant in the world economy.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to United States Department of the Treasury .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Treasury .|
The Secretary of the Treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury which is concerned with all financial and monetary matters relating to the federal government, and, until 2003, also included several major federal law enforcement agencies. This position in the federal government of the United States is analogous to the Minister of Finance in many other countries. The Secretary of the Treasury is a member of the President's Cabinet, and is nominated by the President of the United States. Nominees for Secretary of the Treasury undergo a rigorous confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Finance before being voted on by the United States Senate.
The Treasurer of the United States is an official in the United States Department of the Treasury who was originally charged with the receipt and custody of government funds, though many of these functions have been taken over by different bureaus of the Department. The Treasurer remains the depositary officer of the United States with regard to deposits of gold, Special Drawing Rights, and financial gifts to the Library of Congress. As such, the office has nominal oversight of the United States Bullion Depository. The Treasurer's signature appears together with that of the Secretary of the Treasury on all Federal Reserve Notes.
The national debt of the United States is the total debt, or unpaid borrowed funds, carried by the federal government of the United States, which is measured as the face value of the currently outstanding Treasury securities that have been issued by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. The terms "national deficit" and "national surplus" usually refer to the federal government budget balance from year to year, not the cumulative amount of debt. A deficit year increases the debt, while a surplus year decreases the debt as more money is received than spent.
A finance minister is an executive or cabinet position in charge of one or more of government finances, economic policy and financial regulation.
The Treasurer of Australia is the minister in the Government of Australia responsible for government expenditure and for collecting revenue. The Treasurer plays a key role in the economic policy of the government. The current Australian Treasurer is Josh Frydenberg whose term began on 24 August 2018.
Government debt, also known as public interest, public debt, national debt and sovereign debt, contrasts to the annual government budget deficit, which is a flow variable that equals the difference between government receipts and spending in a single year. The debt is a stock variable, measured at a specific point in time, and it is the accumulation of all prior deficits.
A Demand Note is a type of United States paper money that was issued between August 1861 and April 1862 during the American Civil War in denominations of 5, 10, and 20 US$. Demand Notes were the first issue of paper money by the United States that achieved wide circulation and they are still in circulation today, though they are now extremely rare. The U.S. government placed the Demand Notes into circulation by using them to pay expenses incurred during the Civil War including the salaries of its workers and military personnel.
The United States federal budget comprises the spending and revenues of the U.S. federal government. The budget is the financial representation of the priorities of the government, reflecting historical debates and competing economic philosophies. The government primarily spends on healthcare, retirement, and defense programs. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office provides extensive analysis of the budget and its economic effects. It has reported that large budget deficits over the next 30 years are projected to drive federal debt held by the public to unprecedented levels—from 78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 to 144 percent by 2049.
The Department of the Treasury, often known as simply the Treasury, is the Australian Government ministerial department responsible for economic policy, fiscal policy, market regulation, and the Australian federal budget. The Treasury is one of only two government departments that have existed continuously since Federation in 1901, the other being the Attorney-General's Department.
The Department of Finance is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the formulation, institutionalization and administration of fiscal policies, management of the financial resources of the government, supervision of the revenue operations of all local government units, the review, approval and management of all public sector debt, and the rationalization, privatization and public accountability of corporations and assets owned, controlled or acquired by the government.
The history of the United States public debt started with federal government debt incurred during the American Revolutionary War by the first U.S treasurer, Michael Hillegas, after its formation in 1789. The United States has continuously had a fluctuating public debt since then, except for about a year during 1835–1836. To allow comparisons over the years, public debt is often expressed as a ratio to gross domestic product (GDP). Historically, the United States public debt as a share of GDP has increased during wars and recessions, and subsequently declined.
The First Report on the Public Credit was one of four major reports on fiscal and economic policy submitted by American Founding Father and first United States Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton on the request of Congress. The report analyzed the financial standing of the United States of America and made recommendations to reorganize the national debt and to establish the public credit. Commissioned by the House of Representatives on September 21, 1789, the Report was presented on January 9, 1790, at the second session of the First US Congress. The 40,000 word document called for full federal payment at face value to holders of government securities ("Redemption") and the national government to assume funding of all state debt ("Assumption") The political stalemate in Congress that ensued led to the Compromise of 1790, locating the permanent US capital on the Potomac River ("Residency").
The Office for the Treasury and Public Credit is the finance ministry of Mexico. In Mexico the Treasurer of the Republic is the head of the Office for the Treasury and Public Credit, and is a member of the federal executive cabinet and is named to the post by the President of the Republic. Recently, the institution has been promoting a financial inclusion policy and is now a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. This position is analogous to the Secretary of the Treasury in the United States of America or to the finance ministers of other nations.
The Office of Financial Markets is an office of the United States federal government in the United States Department of the Treasury. OFM serves as the department's advisor on broad matters of domestic finance, financial markets, Federal, State and local finance, Federal Government credit policies, lending and privatization.
The Office of Fiscal Service (OFS) is an agency of the United States federal government in the United States Department of the Treasury. The office is led by the Fiscal Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. The Fiscal Assistant Secretary reports to the United States Secretary of the Treasury through the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance.
A Certified California Municipal Treasurer (CCMT) is a post-nominal professional certification awarded by the California Municipal Treasurers Association (CMTA) to California public treasurers who meet standards of education, experience, and a stated commitment to a code of ethics. It was created in 1978 to provide a professional standard of financial expertise and ethics in California government treasury.
The United States Funding Act of 1790, the full title of which is "An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States", was passed on August 4, 1790 by the United States Congress as part of the Compromise of 1790, to address the issue of funding of the domestic debt incurred by the Colonies; the States in rebellion; in independence; in Confederation, and subsequently the States' comprising and within, a single, sovereign, Federal Union. By the Act the newly-inaugurated federal government under the US Constitution assumed and thereby retired the debts of each of the individual colonies in rebellion and the bonded debts of the States in Confederation, which each state had individually and independently issued on its own "full faith and credit" when each of them was, in effect, an independent nation.
According to statute, the Fiscal Assistant Secretary is appointed by the United States Secretary of the Treasury. The Fiscal Assistant Secretary is the highest ranking career official in the Department of the Treasury. The Fiscal Service, which the Fiscal Assistant Secretary heads, includes the Bureau of Government Financial Operations (which since 1984 has been known as the Financial Management Service and the Bureau of the Public Debt.
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