I have to be honest when I first saw that Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is proposing sending all Minnesotans a 'Walz Check' I thought it was a term invented by the media.

I regularly get emailed press releases from the Governor's office, so I went digging in my inbox for the official press release about this new initiative to make sure this verbiage wasn't coming from Walz, it was.

Right there in the press release under the headline 'Walz Checks' it says, "Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan propose distributing Walz Checks of up to $350 for Minnesotans. Single tax filers earning up to $164,400 would receive a payment of $175. A married couple filing jointly earning up to $273,470 would receive a payment of $350. More than 2.7 million Minnesota households would receive a Walz Check under this proposal."

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First, this is surplus money that the state has because of its high taxes, second, this isn't 'Walz money', this is the taxpayer's money, so why not call them 'Your Checks' or 'Minnesota Taxes are Too High Checks?' And it should come as no surprise that this is an election year, and Walz just announced his run for re-election just a few weeks ago.

Yes, it's true that during Gov. Jesse Ventura's years in office, 'Jesse Checks' were sent to Minnesotans, but I can't find anywhere that Ventura or his office called them 'Jesse Checks', from what I can tell, it was a name adopted by the public and the media, and Jesse didn't run for office again.

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Getty Stock / ThinkStock/Getty Images
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Walz was asked about the name 'Walz Checks' and he said that no one cared what they are called, they just want the relief. If that's true, why not call them something that wouldn't appear so arrogant and politically motivated?

The bottom line is, NO politician from any party should use a surplus of money collected from its citizens as a cheap election-year gimmick. I have nothing against Walz, I honestly think he did an OK job during most of the pandemic, despite his overuse of tan and brown colored suit coats, but this move from him and his staff was a mistake.

Minnesota has a $7.7 billion surplus, many are doing the math of what the 'Walz Checks' should really be. Do you think a family making $273,470 a year cares about a $350 check? Probably not. They would like better roads, better schools, better broadband, or at the very least, lower taxes.

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