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As unemployment benefits are set to expire Saturday for 1.3 million Americans the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced an estimate for the costs of maintaining and modernizing America’s doomsday weapons – $355 billion.

In these times is there a more telling comparison? Over one million Americans are casually tossed into the pain of poverty while in the halls of power all available resources are summoned to affirm our country’s commitment to preserving a weapons system that if ever used would lead to total annihilation of our life on this planet.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost to maintain and modernize nuclear forces over the next decade will be $355 billion, including $221 billion for Defense Department programs to sustain strategic and tactical strike systems as well as nuclear command, control, communications and early warning systems.

Didn’t the Soviet Union collapse in 1989? Isn’t China one of our biggest trading partners? Haven’t we claimed it is unacceptable for new nations such as Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Aren’t we spending billions on nuclear missile defense?

So why are we dropping all this cash to “maintain and modernize” our nukes?

CBO estimates that between fiscal years 2014 and 2023, that the Obama administration’s $297 billion nuclear forces plan will incur $59 billion in cost growth, or 19 percent.

According to the report, the Defense Department over the next decade will require $136 billion for strategic and tactical delivery systems and $56 billion for nuclear command, control and communications as well as early warning systems, while the Energy Department will spend $105 billion on the nuclear weapons enterprise.

A 19% growth rate to build new systems to deliver Armageddon as Congress claims they can’t find anything in the defense budget to cut – though they do have endless imagination for plotting attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and the social safety net.

It becomes more obvious each day that the priorities of the DC elite are wildly out of step with those of the American people.

Photo by US Army under public domain.