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U.S. Government Bombs Accounting

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Sixty-five years ago today, the government tested the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert. That mushroom cloud was the culmination of the Manhattan Project that began as early as 1940.

The extensive project included some of the world’s greatest minds and had a budget of $6000. (This would be equivalent to more than $72,000 in 2010). That seems like a pretty conservative budget for something that changed the face of history and a town in Japan forever.

But don’t give the 1945 U.S. government too much credit for their budgeting talents; like the current iteration of Washington, staying within monetary constraints wasn’t their strong suit. The government allowed the budget for the Manhattan project to blow up (pun intended) to about $2 billion. Accounting for inflation, that’s about $24.3 billion in 2010 dollars.

Total world domination does not come cheap.
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