Prior to fiscal 2008, the federal government had never increased its debt by as much as $1 trillion in a single fiscal year. From fiscal 2008 onward, however, the federal government has increased its debt by at least $1 trillion each and every fiscal year.
The federal fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30. At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2011—the last day of fiscal 2011—the total debt of the federal government was $14,790,340,328,557.15. By June 29, the last business day of the third quarter of fiscal 2012, that debt had grown to $15,856,367,214,324.44—an increase for this fiscal year of $1,066,026,885,767.29.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, the federal debt has continued to accumulate, hitting $15,874,365,457,260.40 at the close of business on Thursday, July 19—marking a total increase so far in fiscal 2012 of $1,084,025,128,703.25.
In fiscal 2007, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government’s debt increased $500,679,473,047.25. But that marked the last fiscal year in which the federal government's debt did not increase by at least $1 trillion.
In fiscal 2008, the debt increased $1,017,071,524,650.01. In fiscal 2009, it increased $1,885,104,106,599.26. In fiscal 2010, it increased $1,651,794,027,380.04. And in fiscal 2011, it increased $1,228,717,297,665.36.
So far this fiscal year (which is a leap year of 366 days), the Treasury has increased the net debt of the federal government at an average rate of $3,699,744,466.56 per day. If that average were to hold up for the 73 days that remained in the fiscal year after July 19, the debt would increase in fiscal 2012 by a total of $1,354,106,474,762.13—a greater increase than last year.
At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2007--which marked the beginning of fiscal 2008--the total debt of the federal government stood at $9,007,653,372,262.48. At the close of business on July 19, it stood at $15,874,365,457,260.40--an increase of $6,866,712,084,997.92 in less than five years.