Understanding the President’s Cabinet: Treasury Secretary
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Understanding the President’s Cabinet: Treasury Secretary

Note: This is the third in a weekly series of explanatory posts on the officials and agencies included in the President’s Cabinet. See the series introduction here.

Cabinet position: Secretary of the Treasury

DepartmentU.S. Department of the Treasury

Current SecretaryAdam J. Szubin is serving as the Acting Secretary pending the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee, Steven Mnuchin.

Succession: The Secretary of the Treasury is fifth in the presidential line of succession.

Department Mission: “Maintain a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad, strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the U.S. Government’s finances and resources effectively.” (Source)

Department Budget$15,462,079,000 (FY 2017)

Number of employees: The Treasury Department has over 100,000 employees across the country and around the world.

Primary Duties of the Secretary: The Treasury Secretary is the Chief Financial Officer of the government, whose responsibilities include:

  • Serving as principal economic advisor to the president
  • Responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy.
  • Participates in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy.
  • Responsible for managing the public debt.
  • Oversees the activities of the Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibilities.
  • Serves as the financial agent for the United States Government.
  • Oversees manufacturing of coins and currency.
  • Serves as Chairman Pro Tempore of the President’s Economic Policy Council, Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, and as U.S. Governor of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Nominee Info

Nominee: Steven Mnuchin (pronounced “mah nu chin”)

Current/previous occupation: Mnuchin worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs from 1985 to 2002. He currently serves as chief executive officer of Dune Capital Management, a privately owned hedge fund he co-founded in 2004.

Previous government experience: None

Religious Affiliation: Reform Judaism

Notable achievements: As an actor, Mnuchin played a Merrill Lynch executive in the 2016 movie, Rules Don’t Apply. As a producer he has created numerous films, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and The Lego Movie.

Notable quotes:

On the 2008 financial crisis: “Many Americans are continuing to suffer from the disastrous ripple effects of the 2008 crisis. Faithfully ensuring this does not happen again means supporting careful oversight of the financial system which prioritizes the needs of everyday Americans over the wishes of financial institutions or the federal government.

On trade policy: “Among President-elect Trump’s signature issues is reviving trade policies that put the American worker first. I will enforce these trade policies that keep and protect American jobs.”

On business: “Ben Franklin once said, ‘The business of the American people is business.’ From our earliest days, we have always been a nation of strivers. American businesses are the greatest repository of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit in the world.”

Next post in this series: Secretary of Defense

Previous and forthcoming posts in this series: Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).