Taxpayers Foot State Department's Liquor Bills

Friday, 16 Apr 2010 08:48 AM

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Months after President Obama urged federal agencies last year to cut wasteful spending, the U.S. Department of State paid $3,814 to fill an order of Jack Daniel's whiskey for gratuities at one of its many overseas embassies.

The booze buy wasn't unusual.

Last year alone, the State Department sent taxpayers tabs totaling nearly $300,000 for alcoholic beverages — about twice as much compared to the previous year, according to an analysis of spending records by The Washington Times.

The purchases, small and large, included $2,483 to pay for "assorted spirits for gratuities to vendors" at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in New York, and $9,501 in "Christmas gratuities" of whiskey and wine at the U.S. Embassy in South Korea.

Taxpayer watchdogs say while accounting for a small fraction of the State Department's overall budget, some of the liquor expenditures reflect larger concerns about stewardship of federal tax dollars at a time when many recession-weary Americans find themselves struggling to hold onto jobs and pay mortgages.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC

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