Lunch Break: Sarah Palin's Tanning Bed : Planet Money We interrupt the hand-wringing over Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch for an old-fashioned analysis of cost and benefit. It comes from Michael Turk, a Republican political strategist, and it concerns the t
NPR logo Lunch Break: Sarah Palin's Tanning Bed

Lunch Break: Sarah Palin's Tanning Bed

Not looking pasty: Sarah Palin Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

We interrupt the hand-wringing over Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch for an old-fashioned analysis of cost and benefit. It comes from Michael Turk, a Republican political strategist, and it concerns the tanning bed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reportedly installed in her state's governor's mansion.

Turk, the funny guy behind PalinFacts.com, writes that Palin's tanning bed likely cost about as much as a half dozen haircuts for onetime Democratic candidate John Edwards. Turk takes into account the scarcity of sunlight that far north:

Given the relative inability to lay out in the sun, and the relative cost efficiency over time of having a tanning bed in residence as opposed to paying a monthly membership to a tanning salon, this doesn't seem eggregious.

If they have a receipt that shows they paid 10 or 20 times market value for the bed, maybe. But $2,000 . . . on a tanning bed so your Governor doesn't look pasty when she goes on TV is not a stretch.