State Dept. Stocked Up on Booze Before Shutdown
And very expensive art, too
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2013 1:12 PM CST
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a World AIDS Day event Dec. 2 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The State Department certainly had its priorities straight in the weeks leading up to the government shutdown: In September, the last month of the fiscal year, it spent $180,000 ... on booze. That includes $11,550 on "gratuity whiskey" and "gratuity wine" at the embassy in Rio, $22,416 in wine for the embassy in Tokyo, and $15,900 worth of bourbon and whiskey in Moscow, the Washington Times reports. The president of a watchdog group explains that toward the end of the fiscal year, departments "have a 'use-it-or-lose-it' mentality," trying to use up the money in their budgets so as not to invite congressional cuts the following year.

Even so, the increased liquor spending is part of a recent trend: In fiscal year 2008, the department spent just $118,000 all year on alcohol; in 2011, that was up to $331,000; by 2012, $415,000. The booze, of course, is used at diplomatic events. Also in September, the State Department spent $1 million on a granite sculpture by an Irish-born artist, plus more than $300,000 on other works of art, the Weekly Standard reports. The Sean Scully sculpture is meant for the new US Embassy in London.

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Showing 3 of 57 comments
Tengu ?? Slayer of Vanity
Dec 17, 2013 3:04 AM CST
"Drunk as a Gentile"
farleyj1
Dec 10, 2013 10:03 AM CST
And they bitch when the poor and middle class want the benefits they earned. If they have that much to burn give some back to the people you took it from.
KDickley
Dec 6, 2013 10:47 AM CST
No wonder our government is selling us down the river and ruining America, they're all drunk.