State Dept. boozes it up on your dime

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.

• $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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198 Comments on "State Dept. boozes it up on your dime"

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Sheila
Guest

Keep them liquored up and everyone is happy! 2016 can’t come soon enough.

Kate
Guest

Why do you think the big push to legalize marijuana? Keep them doped up and tuned out. In my opinion if things don’t change in 2014 in the House and Senate it’s over, 2016 is too late economically.

BILLYDEVO
Guest

Kind of explains why no one has a clue what is going on around the world

Jim Youngblood
Guest

and according to Pelosi “the cupboard is bare”

Kate
Guest

I think this would anger every American citizen hit with insurance cancellations and huge premium increases this Christmas season. I think all of DC has forgotten whose money they are spending, and quite frankly I am extremely tired of seeing the value of my assets shrinking. Where is the budget? How do you make last minute expenditures of this magnitude without budget and budget approval. I am cutting my household budget to come up with $753 increase in health insurance premiums. Angry.

Rey Flores
Guest

There isn’t enough booze on the planet to drown out all of the sorrows these malcontents have put the American people through.

Perhaps these government bureaucrats know what slimebags they truly are and that is why they are literally drinking themselves to death.

stairman
Guest

why do you think they are distracting us with moonshiner shows on tv?

monte485
Guest

It happens every year .. Spend it or they won’t get the funds the next year. This is only a drop in the bucket in the year-end spending frenzy.

bkp100
Guest

We’re continually admonished as to how the govt. budget can *not* be likened to private sector budgets… Why should we think the ‘end-of-year’ budget blowout should be? They want NONE of the limits of the private sector, but ALL of the privileges… and then some…

Doug
Guest

What do you expect from a president that holds a beer summit

MsFitzTX
Guest

But they want to take money away from soldiers and their families. I am so, so sick of all this out of control spending. And my first reaction to this is that the liquor never made it to those embassies. It is sitting in the liquor bar of several State Dept personnel homes. I’d bet on that.

stairman
Guest

by now most likely their septic systems

Debbie
Guest

What difference does it make? These people in this administration are drunk with power and give a hoot for we the people.

Philip Millard
Guest

How much of that booze actually ended up in the liquor cabinets of embassy employees? I can almost guarantee that a large part was diverted to “private” use, and I don’t mean as either gifts to foreign dignitaries or at embassy hosted receptions/parties.

Threefiftyseven Sig
Guest

That’s RIGHT-there’s no honor among thieves!!!(I.e.,politicians)

Gavin McDougald
Guest

My recommendation? Start drinking Allen. Maybe you’ll lighten up a tad.

/jus sayin

Johanna Roberts
Guest

jus saying, You, Gavin are an ASS

Judy Ashcraft
Guest
I totally agree with Mr. West. $400,000 in one year is totally outrageous! Three times more than the 2008 budget for booze is too much! Even allowing for inflation, that is a crazy amount. I lost my job about 2 years ago to down sizing. The money spent on booze was more than 12 times my annual income of $33,000. With our country in such a bad economic condition the $$$ for booze is totally out of line. You don’t have to drink alcohol to have fun and I’m offended that so many people think Mr. West’s statements are because… Read more »
stairman
Guest

I like mr west just fine the way he is and if that’s sober so be it

RVNMike
Guest

As long as he doesn’t try to ban anything I’d vote for him in a second.

Robert Williams
Guest

Sorry IRS and Uncle Sam. I have followed your lead and have spent your Tax dollars too. I will not be able to send you a payment this April. I am sure you understand.
Thank you,
Disgruntled tax payer.

stairman
Guest

is Pelosi planning a tour of our embassies soon?

MovingToNevada
Guest

I don’t think she knows what an embassy is.

Jonathan Marcoulides
Guest

If I thought they were using it for a political advantage, during negotiations, to get a better deal for America I would say absolutely, but looking at the way we negotiated with Iran I would have to say it is our diplomats drinking all that alcohol which is as bad of an idea as leaving a message or texting while intoxicated it never works out well the next day!

Jim Sleeper
Guest

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia… DoS can drink in war zones. Our service members can’t even have a beer, yet the other coalition forces have their watering holes no problem.…

RVNMike
Guest

Just go to the German compound. They are a lot of fun.

joey2zs
Guest
So, instead of spending $400,000 a year to lubricate foreign diplomats who can effect huge spending on American products/services… Mr West would prefer… WHAT be done with this budgetary line item? What does that $400k in booze produce in “sales” and closed deals for America? Presumably many, many, many times more in return. Why is Mr West pushing his morality onto our public government? What does he want next, Sharia Law? Why can’t American vintners and distillers enjoy sales from government accounts? Seems unpatriotic to me. Mr West would prefer our diplomats serve Kool Aid be at State Dinners with… Read more »
Johanna Roberts
Guest

I’m sure Mr West, who actually USES his brain, could list a hundred ‘returns’ that would actually benefit the tax-payers, compared to bloated likker expenditures from vintners and distillers, all of whom are not American.

Jan
Guest

that is what the obama voters have been drinking. in fact, the election of obama were both fraudulent

RVNMike
Guest

Now show me where our trade has gone up under this vast increase in free booze. It hasn’t. This is just his regime trying to show off how rich they are, with our money. It has to be brought back under control.
The only friends he is making is with the middle eastern dictators and mullahs. They aren’t suppose to be drinking. So where is that much booze going? Did they at least get a discount for buying such massive quantities, or did they buy from another of obama’s crew?

kat
Guest

Nobody has said in this article who was going to benefit from the sales. More than likely foreign companies in foreign lands…not here where it would have to be transported to foreign soil.

kat
Guest

$400,000 is a lot of money to many Americans that could be better used here to provide jobs for those who need them instead of making closed door deals with foreign countries to import their goods which much of it from China are toxic.
I would prefer they not serve anything and close all the embassys down.

MovingToNevada
Guest

Triple the money spent compared to 2008 and nothing to show for it. Get a grip. A lot of this alcohol isn’t produced in the states either (including wines). Many are imports.

David Frazier
Guest

It is better to keep silent and be thought ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

RVNMike
Guest

Joey should have been told this before he opened his mouth.

Paula
Guest

Sorry, I agree with Mr. West, I don’t want my tax dollars spent on booze for our diplomats or foreign diplomats. People drinking is their own business, but not if I’m paying for it. I do not drink either and feel there are many things besides liqueur that can be served at state functions. I know there are many essential things that must be paid for in our government but making sure drunks have their booze is not one of them.

Jim Sleeper
Guest

You’re a tard…or a DoS employee which means the same…

yourestupid
Guest

You obviously didn’t read the article jackwagon. All you did just now, with your poorly thought statement, is confirm what your mother already knows; that you’re a douche who can’t read.

lauren
Guest

Thank you so much..that’s exactly what I was thinking…and to see it in writing just cracked me up. It’s difficult to read with his head stuck that far up his ass. I’d be sympathetic on his behalf but there’s really no point and would be a wasted effort. Truly thanks again for the laugh.

Andy
Guest

Hillary’s been on an embassy tour?

kat
Guest

Anyone ever wonder what our government would do if we all changed our withholdings to exempt fed taxes on our payroll for one week and the government did not get their money? I bet they would change their tune really fast because they could not arrest every American at once.

Johanna Roberts
Guest

I wish this plan would catch on for the tax-payer year. However, we would have to empty out our checking and bank accounts first, otherwise, it’s my understanding that IRS has been given the authority via obamacare, to attach our money accounts.

Melanie Sanders
Guest

I’ve always wanted to do this, except for a whole year.

Paulette
Guest

that is more money than our income for 5 years

JoshJohnston
Guest

This doesn’t bother me if there is a valid reason such as the embassy hosting foreign guests. For personal office use, I completely disagree with them purchasing alcohol with taxpayer monies. Now, from this comment section, every idea that we can come up with in terms of use of the alcohol is entirely speculation – we have no way of telling what is actually done with the booze. In good faith, we must assume that this liquor is used in negotiations and diplomatic events.

Roger Dent
Guest

MAYBE ITS USED INSTEAD OF WINDEX? OR AS RUBBING ALCOHOL

Glen Saunders
Guest

Josh been there done that……It’s free flowing and at taxpayer expense…..

Dwight E Howell
Guest

The use of the term gratuity is suggestive of giving bottles to guests or staff as presents.

lordhelpus
Guest

DO YOU PEOPLE SERIOUSLY NOT READ? DID ANY OF YOU JACKASSES ACTUALLY READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE? He SAID he doesn’t care that others drink. He SAID he knows all administrations have a booze bill. He SAID that the cost of booze under Obama has skyrocketed. What part of this article says he is against drinking or the govt having a booze bill? READ THE DAMN ARTICLE. Jeeez you people are the reason I DRINK.

Jim Sleeper
Guest

So what do they do with the money they charge people for the drinks?

WenPap
Guest

Charge ? They give it away free ! Hence the word ” gratuitity “

Glen Saunders
Guest

They don’t charge Jim. They’re “gratuitous” meaning they get the visiting VIP’s drunk on their asses at all of their bashes……

Rufus
Guest

It’s not just the State Department.
ALL of Washington DC are alcoholics.
Why do you think Obama and Reid call for meeting with Boehner after 4PM?
He’s drunk by then and won’t stand up for us, because, well, he can’t stand up.

kevnlittle
Guest

That would have been enough money to keep the White House tours running.

jaylemeux
Guest

“I don’t recall any General officer using taxpayer dollars to fund alcohol purchases for parties.”

Perhaps you should reach deeper into your memory.

Mjenkins
Guest

How about Pelosi on a government plane flying from California to Washington and back three times a week with family and friends drinking up a storm. Does that count as a general officer using taxpayer dollars to fund alcohol purchases for parties?

REBA72653
Guest

not only drinking up a storm but also demanding choc covered strawberries

mjenkins
Guest

Exactly, But some of these MORONS don’t see a problem with this.

Nancy
Guest
No I’m not ok with it! When my neighbor lost his insurance a month ago and now pays double for coverage that doesn’t cover his own health issue!! No I’m not ok with it! He also can not afford to buy the medication he has taken for 10 years. His new policy does not cover, so the increase is one hundred times what he has been paying! No I’m not ok with them using my tax dollars to by alcohol! I’m looking at trying to cut out something from my own life to help him buy his medicine. I don’t… Read more »
RVNMike
Guest

I guess obama’s rules allow them the luxury of spending with few restrictions. Its all free money isn’t it?

Tacjam4
Guest

All nicities in Government should be stopped until the national debt is $0! That’s how families in debt do it!

WenPap
Guest

AMEN !!

johnTnash
Guest

I have a novel idea … Why don’t they stick to an approved budget instead of turning in a racked up bill?

faye Paolino
Guest

John there hasn’t been an approved budget in 5 years. That’s why he doesn’t make a budget. He can spend whatever he pleases on anything he pleases like millions of dollar’s on vacation’s.

LauraJ
Guest

Budget??? What’s that???

Texaswede
Guest

Harry Reid: “Beats the hell out of me!”

Larryj
Guest

I hope you mean why he got elected in the first place. Not that he comes to your house with a belt.

Jan
Guest

No, I am not okay with this..There is NO reason for anyone to drink alcohol beverages. No wonder this idiot in OUR White House is giving away everything to Egypt, Mexico, Russia, China, etc. The A$$hole is DRUNK..and CRAZY and out to destroy OUR country. That is why hillary was on the go so much, she was drinking up ALL the liquor in EVERY Embassy on the map. That is why she doesn’t remember or cared what was happening in Benghazi to Ambassador Stevens and the others that were MURDERED.

dennisc200
Guest

Allen West is a self loathing Uncle Tom who probably needs a few drinks. I can’t believe that anyone follows what this fool says.

Larryj
Guest

Mister West is an American Hero, in my eyes. You Dennisc are not. Take your meds. and cool your jets.

Roger Dent
Guest

AGAIN TYPICAL OF THE FOLLOWERS OF THE PIED PIPER, WHEN NOT HAVING ANYTHING INTELLIGENT TO SAY, RESORT TO INSULTS

Jeff Ely
Guest

Racist much?

WenPap
Guest

Oh, anyone who is against American citizens taking advantage of the system and making the ” lazy, entitled ” mentality a way of life and lord forbid if that person is Black, Wa La , Bam, here it comes the ” Uncle Tom ” label…..ugggggg, PLEASE !! Mr. West is just a concerned American citizen with a right to his opinion….

Glen Saunders
Guest

Be sure you’re not hiding and try using your real name when you make idiotic remarks like that. Surely you’re man or woman enough to stand for what you believe. I mean if you’re going to make racist remarks like that you should stand behind them and not hide like a coward………

Mark
Guest

Really Dennis, Uncle Tom? Boy, they don’t come any more racist then you, do they?

Glen Saunders
Guest

So while the Secretary of Defense is trying to close Commissaries the Secretary of State is replenishing the booze in foreign embassies. Yes indeed the government planning is really working overtime now. What a bunch of idiots…..

Dale Little
Guest
It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at one of their drunken parties. Here is what one former rising star in the former Soviet Union had to say about his disillusionment of Communism, “I looked around. Here were the great Communist leaders of Kamchatka Province, drunk. Several had passed out cold, their heads lying flat on the table. Three lay with their faces in their plates of food…Others were fast drinking themselves into unconsciousness…I looked atthem in disgust. I had ordered cadets from the academy for less than this…I was looking at the”cream of the crop”… Read more »
Suzanne McKay
Guest

Thank you for this, Dale! I’m “Sharing” Allen’s post, and I will encourage viewers to read your Comment!

A.c. Volper
Guest

HOW ABOUT AN ACCOUNTING ON BOHENERS PLANE USEAGE, BOOZE COSTS ON BOARD AS WELL SPEAKING OF FOOLS DENNIS IS UR LOVE AFFAIR WITH A KNOWN LIAR GONE FROM FULL TIME STATUS TO PART TIME STATUS, BECAUSE YOU ARE STILL A FULL TIME FOOL EITHER WAY

Roger Dent
Guest

TYPICAL OF THE LAMBS FOLLOWING THE TUNE, WITHOUT ANYTHING INTELLIGENT TO SAY, RESORT TO INSULTS

Susan
Guest

I have heard that Boehner often chooses not to
use the plane or alcohol onboard.

Texaswede
Guest

Compared to Pelosi when she was Speaker , Bonehead is a tightwad!

lilmia
Guest

i’m not okay with it even a little bit. as the spouse of an abusive functioning alcoholic, it infuriates me that elected officials are using my tax dollars in this way. especially since i was laid off from my job after 18 years due to gov’t budget cuts. i finally get another job and now the hours are being cut to align w/the obamacare requirements. SMDH

Dumba$$
Guest

Dump the alcoholic lower…

REBA72653
Guest

STATE DINNERS OK TO SERVE WINE FOR TOAST, AFTER THAT PUT THE CORK BACK IN THE BOTTLES.

mike
Guest

“Not enough money for adequate security at our embassies because of Republican budget cuts.”

Susan Maree Jeavons
Guest

Is that why those Americans died at Benghazi? Because of those Republicans? BS! Sounds like one of Obamas trolls.

SandyT
Guest

I know there is no sarcasm font, but maybe there should be, so people will recognize it more easily.

Susan Maree Jeavons
Guest

You’re right Sandy. They should have one. Of course I was being sarcastic. Thanks.

Larryj
Guest

Do you know what party is in power. Yes Mike it you guys it was your budget cuts. Barry loves to make little people hurt. Then tell you followers it was us. Off you go throwing rocks. WOW the uninformed RULE. Fo0r NOW

SandyT
Guest

Larryj, did you notice the quotation marks before and after mike’s post? He was quoting a Democrat who was blaming the Republicans for inadequate security at the embassies. I don’t think mike is a Democrat.

Molly
Guest

In the government science center where I work, we are not allowed to have alcohol on the premises. We have even been forbidden from using government money to supply food (donuts or cookies and coffee) at meetings. So, again, even among federal employees, there are two standards: one for those in DC and a different one for those in the rest of the country.

Texaswede
Guest

You are correct. The little people outside the Beltway must obey the rules. Inside the beltway, not so much! (The State department: Buying us friends abroad with booze , money, and an occasional hooker)

Marnott
Guest

Well, that explains a lot about the decisions and policies being made, doesn’t it?

Marshall Dearman
Guest

WHen I drank everone drinks, when I pay everone pays.

Ida Cook
Guest

Who ever allowed this stupid spending should be fired and that means all of them.

Pegesu
Guest

If we had an abundance to spend, after all our children were fed and clothed, bills paid etc… much like in my own home.

redley62
Guest

With this president this country didn’t start out having enough money to spend, so he borrowed it…some 8 Trillion dollars worth of debt in less that 6 years. Now, he is buying booze and traveling off the backs of the tax payers. HE is laughing all the way to prosperity and WE are allowing it and will pay for it. Now, Obama has balls and is getting away with it…..for now.

Army Grunt
Guest

They are cutting tuition assistance across the board, but letting embassies booze it up. But if I buy alcohol on my government travel card while TDY, even with dinner, I get and Article 15.

Charie
Guest

Cases of booze can be used for bribes. Who is being bribed?

Craig Wooldridge
Guest
I was much like you, Colonel, during my 24 years of service. I spent my time making sure my troops got back to the barracks safely, which was hard enough. Seabees can be hard drinkers. In all that time, I have never seen a CO, or OIC, Flight Chief, Shift Commander (Air Force SP as well), etc, utilize public moneys for libations. For some reason, the present administration seems to think it is their job to “live it up” on the people’s dime while they are in power. Sad that they can’t just do the job they were elected to… Read more »
redley62
Guest

Everything about this present administration has the stink of CASTRO on it.

Roger Dent
Guest

HAD TO JOIN THE O CLUB THOUGH

Texas ParentsCare
Guest

This is absolutely RIDICULOUS! How can the government justify $400K in liquor purchases??? I don’t recall our Constitution providing or funding alcohol! This is not road repairs, infrastructure or aiding another country! In fact, everyone knows that alcohol impairs judgment! How many medical bills could have been covered by that??? Every American should be outraged by this!!! Congress should pass a law prohibiting alcoholic purchases by government entities period! Individuals who want to drink can pay for it themselves or the host can (and be liable for it)!!!

Roger Dent
Guest

SHOVEL READY JOB?

Helen Davis
Guest

Alcohol is sometimes the coin of the realm and the oil of diplomacy so, yes, I think some alcohol is a legitimate state department expense. I think Col. West hit on the critical element it in mentioning the increase, the excessive amount of money going to this method of friend-making. And no, I do not drink or like to be around drinking. I do, however, read widely and see how some other peoples use alcohol judiciously to create a sense of hospitality and goodwill and how it is culturally expected.

Larryj
Guest

YEA, what Helen said.

NCCaniac42
Guest
That is less that 1% of 1% of 1% and even less than that. Get over yourself.. I would rather we worry about why the Banksters have yet to pay for ruining our economy and why we give BILLIONS and BILLIONS of our tax dollars to CORPORATIONS in the form of tax breaks and subsidies and yet take money from hungry children. This should be the LEAST of our problems. Why aren’t you whining about JP Morgan’s $12 BILLION settlement for wrong doing that they can then write off $7B of it on their corporate tax returns… THIS IS WHAT… Read more »
respectful conservative
Guest
respectful conservative

I don’t recall any arrests resulting from the banksters ruining our economy. What happened to holding people accountable?

primitive
Guest

You are held accountable if you are a successful woman! Just ask Martha Stewart!

faye Paolino
Guest

You voted for this pos so wake up before it’s to late for all of us.

Rick Captain Redtyde Robinett
Guest
Rick Captain Redtyde Robinett

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Roger Dent
Guest

HEY NCCANIAC YOU BEEN LISTENING TO THE TUNE OF THE PIED PIPER TOO LONG,

Larryj
Guest

So you don’t like my buddy. You must be an angry man. Look this a very small part of the big picture. It is a part of that picture. I hate that we give big parts to countries that hate us Take a pill and quit hatting on people you don’t agree with.

primitive
Guest

To disagree is not to hate. I disagree with Pres. Obama on almost everything ————- but then I knew better than to vote for a graduate of the Chicago political machine!

NCCaniac42
Guest

please look in a mirror.. thanks for playing.

Lin Antalek
Guest

Have you any idea how many times I’ve heard that crap? This is less than 1% of 1%??? its total is up to 29% by now… idiot

NCCaniac42
Guest

Sorry but we are talking about $400,000 not exactly a huge amount of money. When Mr. West starts talking about the BILLIONS of dollars we waste in over payments to military contractors and corporate welfare , then I will start listening. Complaining about money for alcohol is just another way to ‘gin up’ his very ignorant base – of which you obviously are a member.

respectful conservative
Guest
respectful conservative

$400,000 is more than I paid in taxes. I’d be happy to have it back!

Roger Granquist
Guest

$400,000 is not a lot of money??!! You must be one of the rich tycoons you’re griping about.
Just because there are also other billions of dollars being wasted, if you don’t start with $400k, where DO you start?!
If you had $400k in the bank and someone took it, I’ll bet you would think it’s a lot of money then! Or if you handed it over to someone to provide a service to you and they bought booze instead, you’d be livid then…

redley62
Guest

People in some way or another understand your post when it affects their OWN pocket book. Just like all the Liberals who voted for Obama and Care, but when they heard they were going to have to pay for it, suddenly they felt cheated by their king. NO, you weren’t cheated Liberals….you just have to pay your share. Ever hear the term; NOTHING is ever FREE….It cost someone, something, somehow! Well, that someone would be YOU.

OldmanRick
Guest

Well, some folks more than others need the alcohol to kill the taste of the brat’s BS.

Sharon Kay Brittain
Guest

NCCCaniac42, it all adds up….just pick an area and look at the waste…..

beauallen43
Guest

If you are not responsible in small things, you will not be responsible in larger things. Is our country and our standards so repugnant that we must acquire friends with bribes of money and booze? Stop the flow of handouts, look around and see who your friends really are.

marilyn
Guest

Said exactly as I was going to. Thanks.