Allen B. West

State Dept. boozes it up on your dime

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As reported in the Washington Times, while the rest of the government was shutting down, the State Department was busy stocking up on booze for the embassies. In September alone the State Department spent about $180,000 on liquor for a grand total of more than $400,000 for the year, more than three times the entire liquor tab for all of 2008. According to the Washington Times:

The liquor bill, split among purchase orders placed at embassies around the world, included some major last-minute pre-shutdown splurges:

• $5,625 in “gratuity wine” at the embassy in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 29, followed by $5,925 in “gratuity whiskey” on the day the shutdown began.

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• $22,416 in wine at the embassy in Tokyo.

• $15,900 in bourbon and whiskey in Moscow.

It’s not unusual for U.S. embassies to serve alcohol at diplomatic events under Democratic and Republican administrations alike — but the booze bill has grown enormously since Obama’s inauguration in 2008.

Now in full disclosure I want to let you know the hardest drink I’ve ever imbibed is ginger ale. I’m not a partaker of alcoholic beverages, but don’t begrudge anyone who is. As a matter of fact, I was always the designated driver for my buddies when I was a young lieutenant.

However, I believe this is something where we must ask ourselves, is this a good use of our American taxpayer dollars, regardless of political party? I know entertaining is important for these government agencies, but I don’t recall any General officer using taxpayer dollars to fund alcohol purchases for parties. Maybe I’m wrong. Chime in folks, are you ok with our State Department, and who knows others, using your taxpayer dollars to get their drink on?

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