The New York Post has a news article, and Senator Schumer has a press release, about whether the $5.4 million the State Department is going to spend on new crystal stemware for American embassies is going to be spent on foreign or domestic manufacturers. They both overlook the more important issue: why are taxpayers going to spend $5.4 million on fancy wine glasses for embassies in the first place? What have the diplomats been drinking out of all these years? Have the chipped glasses really hurt American prestige abroad? If new glasses are really needed, here is an idea: Kmart is selling a perfectly nice set of 4 wine glasses for $7.99, or about $2 a glass. The government could buy 400 wine glasses for each of the about 175 American embassies for about $140,000, and save the taxpayers $5.26 million. If the government is really intent on spending all $5.4 million, it could deploy 15,000 of these $2 wine glasses at each embassy, enough so that the diplomats wouldn't even have to bother washing them -- they could just throw them out after each use.
Wait till the savings start kicking in on government health care -- they'll be buying tongue depressors and stethescope with the same thrift and care that the State Department spends on wine glasses. This must be an example of Presient Obama's austerity budget getting serious about deficit control.