Gongol.com Archives: October 2013
Brian Gongol

October 6, 2013

Business and Finance Thanks for the enthusiasm, but let's stick to the facts
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and at one point said, "[I]t's my job to try to make sure we strengthen the economy, and I spend every day trying to do that." While the superficial enthusiasm for the economy is nice to hear, that's not the job of the Secretary of the Treasury. The Treasury Department does a lot of things, but the original Treasury Act of 1789 didn't say anything about a responsibility to the economy as a whole; instead, it charged the Treasury with making and keeping accounts by collecting taxes and other revenues and by managing how they are spent. At a time of government shutdown, perhaps it's worth asking whether we're keeping the Treasury occupied enough with its essential tasks, and not over-extending the scope of responsibility far more than is healthy for the department (and the country). Mission creep that grows to the extent that the Treasury Secretary thinks his primary job is to manage the economy (rather than to collect taxes and pay the nation's bills) probably points us in the wrong direction.