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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Graphic: See How the Government’s Spending on Booze Has Quadrupled Since 2005

3 Substance

It’s one way to prop up the economy: The federal government spent $1.3 million on alcohol last year. That’s nearly four times what the government spent on booze in 2005, according a Washington Times report. “You could say that Washington’s quite literally drunk on other people’s money,” says Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending.

Last year, just before the government shutdown in September, the State Department alone spent over $400,000 on liquor to re-stock its embassies and diplomatic posts—no doubt essential to lubricate all those tricky diplomatic conversations. It also awarded a vital $5 million contract to a Vermont glass manufacture to supply each of its embassies with crystal glassware.

So far this year, the government is spending about $50,000 per month on liquor. This is a lower rate than 2013, but don’t be fooled: The most drastic increases in alcohol purchases consistently occur in September at the end of the federal fiscal year.