Exactly 199 years ago, in 1815, a “temporary” committee was established in the US Senate called the Committee on Finance and Uniform National Currency.
It was set up to address economic issues and the debt accrued by the US government after the War of 1812.
Of course, because there’s nothing more permanent than a temporary government measure, the committee became a permanent one after just one year.
It soon expanded its role from raising tariffs to having influence over taxation, banking, currency, and appropriations.
In subsequent wars, notably the American Civil War, the Committee was quick to use its powers and introduced the union’s first income tax. They also detached the dollar from gold to help fund the war.
This was all an indication of things to come.