The Bush administration said on Thursday that the new Medicare law offering prescription drug benefits and private health plans to the elderly would cost at least $530 billion over 10 years, or one-third more than the price tag used when Congress passed the legislation two months ago."Interestingly, as I forgot to mention in my recent post about the R&D costs of pen development, $530 billion is also the latest estimated cost for the government's plan to create an erasable pen that works in space.
BTW, a reader from Bartlett, MS e-mailed me to note that the story of the $12 NASA pen was also included in a West Wing: "The direction of this causal arrow is also unclear, but I prefer to think that West Wing is the Holy Fountain From Which All Cultural Myths Emanate, rather than the reverse."
Update, Saturday: From a premium subscriber in Shanty Town, MN
[name]'s parents gave both me and [name] a space pen last year for christmas
(they also gave me a planner...). the pen has a little american flag on
it, and it indicates that it can be used at 0 gravity and at -50 or 400
degrees fahrenheit. i guess they were anticipating a lot of outdoor note
taking (in our planners, i'm sure) during our winter visits to
[northern state]. also, it is called a diplomat and it says it is a product of
[european country]. [name]'s parents are stingy, and i'm sure they didn't spend
more than a million for the pair of them.