The US Treasury Building
The US Treasury Building is located right next to the White House. The Department of the Treasury (DoT) is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet.
The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, who was sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was asked by President George Washington to serve after first having asked Robert Morris (who declined, recommending Hamilton instead). Hamilton almost single-handedly worked out the nation’s early financial system, and for several years was a major presence in Washington’s administration as well. His portrait is on the obverse of the U.S. ten-dollar bill while the Treasury Department building is shown on the reverse.
Besides the Secretary, one of the best-known Treasury officials is the Treasurer of the United States whose signature, along with the Treasury Secretary’s, appears on all Federal Reserve notes.
The Treasury prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. The Department also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service, and manages U.S. government debt instruments.
The basic functions of the Department of the Treasury mainly include:
- Producing all currency, coinage and postage stamps of the U.S.;
- Collecting taxes, duties and money paid to and due to the U.S.:
- Paying all bills of the U.S.;
- Managing the federal finances;
- Managing government accounts and the United States public debt;
- Supervising national banks and thrift institutions;
- Advising on domestic and international financial, monetary, economic, trade and tax policy (fiscal policy being the sum of these);
- Enforcing federal finance and tax laws;
- Investigating and prosecuting tax evaders;
Publishing statistical reports.
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, the responsibility of overseeing weights and measures was carried out by the Office of Standard Weights and Measures, which was part of the U.S. Treasury Department.
After 1901, the responsibility was assigned to the agency that subsequently became known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.