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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Many know the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. Few know how much it costs the American taxpayer.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) puts the cost of tracking Santa at $231 billion this year, a ten percent increase from 2012.

The costs began to accrue in the planning stages. Due to Pentagon rules, a large scale publicity stunt needs to be supervised by several generals. Six Lieutenant Generals were honorarily promoted, four from the Air Force and two from the Army. Their promotion ceremonies alone cost $88 billion.

The generals said they wouldn’t be able to work without a separate office suite for themselves and their staff. It cost $8 billion to make a 1500 square foot office in the interior of a mountain. At one point the workers hit a magma vein and eight were burned alive. Due to already ballooning costs, their survivors were not paid benefits.

After creating the office the generals demanded multiple contingency scenarios. “We have to be prepared for everything,” Gen. William Bradford said. “What if a reindeer is sick and Santa has to abort? What if he gets stuck in a chimney? What if he turns hostile and needs to be shot down? These are thing we have to keep in mind.”

Designing these scenarios cost $50 billion. A colonel who asked why they were wasting their time was relieved of duty.

Bradford decided to fly a fighter escort for Big Red One. Two F-18’s were painted red and green. The paint job cost $10 billion and the escort flights will cost another five.

On December 17th, Gen. Bradford decided tracking Santa did not help further NORADs combat mission and contracted it out for $70 billion to Islamabad Radar, a Pakistani corporation with ties to the Taliban.

“We will know the exact location of Big Red One at all times,” Nadeem Domki, CEO of Islamabad Radar, said when reached for comment. “We can’t wait to see him take to the sky and go out with a bang. This will be a merry Christmas the infidels will never forget.”