APRIL 16, 2010
While Americans continue to struggle financially one federal agency alone annually spends hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on booze, despite the president’s strict order to slash wasteful spending in government.
Headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Department of State is known to rack up hefty yearly liquor tabs that often exceed a quarter of a million dollars, according to newspaper analysis of agency records. Officials at the executive agency responsible for the country’s international relations seem to have exquisite taste in alcohol.
Last year alone the State Department stuck taxpayers with a whopping $300,000 bill for alcoholic beverages, nearly double the amount billed the previous year, according to spending records analyzed in the probe. The purchases included $2,483 for “assorted spirits for gratuities to vendors” at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in
Examples of purchases in previous years include more than $20,000 for “representational liquors for Christmas gratuities” for the U.S. Embassy in Greece, $7,554 for a “supply of alcoholic beverages and gratuities” at the U.S. Embassy in India and $7,160 on alcohol and “gratuities for local contacts” for the U.S. Consulate in
The State Department also spends hefty sums on liquor domestically, not just abroad. A
It’s all part of the department’s work in representing the United States and its interests here and abroad, according to a State Department spokesman, who assures the expenditures are permitted under law. In fact, the Secretary of State may provide for receptions, entertainment and “representational expenses” to enable the proper representation of the United States and its interests, the agency spokesman points out.
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