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Friday, 11 October 2013
Debt-Ridden U.S. Government Spends $5m on Glassware!
Obama might not have much to be happy about amid the shutdown but he'll be able to enjoy some nice glassware next year
End of tax year spending spree means U.S. embassies will have shiny new glasses in the next 12 months.
News that the U.S. government is
spending $5 million on glassware may irk workers still on unpaid leave
on the ninth day of the federal shutdown, but that hasn't stopped the
U.S. Office of Acquisitions awarding a lucrative contract to
Vermont-based glass designer Simon Pearce.
The potential five-year deal announced by the Department of State
will grate on those hamstrung as a result of the continued budget
dispute in Congress, but at least diplomats in American embassies around
the world will enjoy sipping from the 12,000 new pieces of stemware in
the coming twelve months – with more glasses to follow during the
remaining four years of the deal.
"It is a custom-design line of hand-blown glasses," Steve Seto of
Simon Pearce told Vermont-based television station WCAX. "The very first
piece that was designed and recently approved was a Champagne flute."
But hand-blown glasses come at a cost: prices start at $65, while Champagne flutes will set you back $100 a pop.
The glass contract was signed in September at the end of the tax
year, which is often marked by a spate of spending, as government
agencies are forced to use the money or lose it.
According to New Hampshire’s Valley News, Vermont Senator Patrick
Leahy, a key figure in sealing the deal, had written to the Secretary of
State in support of Simon Pearce’s bid to become the glassware
Glassware isn’t the only item the U.S. government has splurged on in
recent weeks: the Department of Veterans Affairs spent more than
$500,000 on artwork, and the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on
toner cartridges in a single day, The Washington Post reported.