Debt Increased More Under Geithner Than Under Any Treasury Secretary in U.S. History

By Matt Cover | June 30, 2011 | 5:47pm EDT

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner testifies in the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. (Congressional photo)

( – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner oversaw the largest increase in the national debt of any Treasury secretary in American history, presiding over a $3.7 trillion increase in the debt.

According to data from the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt, the national debt has increased $3,723,575,990,130.10 from Jan. 26, 2009 until June 30, 2011, Geithner’s entire tenure to date as Treasury secretary.

When Geithner took office the total national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. As of June 30, 2011, it had risen to $14.3 trillion.

In fact, the debt accrued under Geithner is greater than all federal debt accrued in the first 204 years of the nation’s history. The national debt did not reach $3.7 trillion until October 1991, according to historical Treasury data that reaches back to 1791.

Geithner, who reportedly may step down from his position soon, has overseen the accrual of more federal debt (in only 2.5 years) than every Treasury secretary combined from Alexander Hamilton to Nicholas Brady, who was Treasury secretary in October 1991 when the national debt reached $3.7 trillion.

Since then, the federal debt has increased by historically large amounts under each Treasury secretary since Brady but not to the level it is today under Geithner. The debt increases under those secretaries are presented below.

Nicholas Brady (9/15/88-1/17/93): $1,564,862,000,000.00

Lloyd Bentsen (1/20/93-12/22/94): $559,880,257,144.59

Robert Rubin (1/11/95-7/2/99): $815,560,432,731.13

Lawrence Summers (7/2/99-1/20/01): $109,651,004,604.88

Paul O’Neill (1/20/01-12/31/02): $677,930,718,549.89

John Snow (2/3/03-6/30/06): $2,040,609,369,491.81

Henry Paulson (7/10/06-1/20/09): $2,218,644,118,047.16

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