If only he would grow a beard and put on a red suit, Minnesota’s governor could do a reasonable impersonation of the jolly old elf himself. Let’s call him Santa Wauz.
In recent weeks, he’s been said to be chortling to himself constantly, having just won re-election, a friendly legislature, and a budget surplus of $17.6 billion. He now faces the prospect of handing out more checks to Minnesotans than any Santa in history. He will soon be coming down a chimney near you.
Santa Wauz is making his list and checking it twice. At the top will be the nice, not the naughty, boys and girls. The nice ones are those who gave to his recent campaign, the teachers’ union, other public employees and private industries that feed at the public trough. Next are nursing home aides, green energy workers, road and building trades, marijuana users, gun controllers and abortion clinics. The list is endless.
The naughty are the millions who for some strange reason did not vote for him. Those would be the people who believe in law and order, teaching kids facts instead of political agendas, using tax dollars for what they were appropriated such as feeding hungry children instead of paying for mansions and luxury automobiles, lowering utility bills and gasoline prices, leaving law-abiding gun owners alone, following the science on marijuana use, cracking down on drug dealers, more entrepreneurism, a friendlier business climate, and returning the entire surplus to taxpayers.
Regardless, with Santa’s list being so long, he may forget a few people who should be on it. In the giving spirit of the season, therefore, here are some additional gift suggestions Santa Wauz may not have thought of:
• For new state Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis — An anti-Grinch vaccine that allows her to feel the pain of those on fixed incomes, so she includes eliminating the state tax on Social Security income.
• For the leaders of the new state Senate DFL majority as well as the University of Minnesota Board of Regents — a map showing that Minnesota has 80 other counties beyond the seven-county metro.
• For Minnesota voters who returned all but a handful of incumbents to public office — a book they have already read.
• For U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar — tuition for an accounting course that explains how increasing the national debt from $8.5 trillion and 62% of gross domestic product when she was first elected in 2006, to $31 trillion and 123% of GDP today may be unsustainable. Voting for spending increases, even while opposing Republican tax cuts, may make sense politically, but not mathematically.
• For U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and Reps. Angie Craig, Tom Emmer and any other public office holder who accepted campaign contributions provided by Sam Bankman-Fried and Ryan Salame, former co-CEOs of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, who are now facing possible fraud charges — An ethics course taught by 1st District U.S. Rep. Brad Finstad that explains why it is not a good look to traffic in possibly stolen goods, and how to return such campaign contributions instead of keeping them or sending them on to someone else.
• For homeless Minneapolis and St. Paul residents — A copy of those cities’ new rent control ordinances entitled, “How’s This Working for You?”
• For former GOP gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen — A return to his medical practice free of harassment by the state bureaucracy.
• For Donald Trump — A visit from the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who hands him an honest-to-God indictment, if warranted, instead of only blowing smoke, as it has for the last six Christmases, suggesting he will eventually roast in hell.
• For Minneapolis Federal Reserve Chair Neel Kashkari — A copy of “Keeping At It” by former Fed Chair Paul Volcker, on stopping inflation.
• For Minnesota DFL-ers — A new comb so they look their best when Santa Wauz comes to their town for a photo op.
• For Minnesota Republicans — A slice of humble pie.
• For national Democrats — A calendar with actuarial tables that suggests that “Biden time” may be past.
• For national Republicans — A Monopoly game with a one-year time limit. It will be open to all GOP presidential hopefuls, but come next Christmas, only the top three players will be allowed to continue to the primaries.
• For Minnesota auto dealers — When Santa Wauz comes to them, checking to see if they have electric vehicles in their inventory as he mandated, the opportunity to tell him he will have to wait because they cannot keep them in stock.
• For Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey – A stack of “Stay Out of Jail Free” cards, to hand to felons that his short-staffed police force does not have time to investigate or arrest.
• For all the America-hating Americans — One-way tickets to the socialist paradise of their choice: Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela to balance immigration flows.
• For the Minnesota Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves and Gopher men’s and women’s basketball teams — A tutorial explaining that offense is only half the game.
• For Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy — A table for peace talks.
Don’t shout or pout if you fail to make it onto Santa Wauz’ list. Rest assured that he has gifts for everyone, and he will be doling them out over at least the next two years.
Tom West, now retired, is the former general manager of this paper. Reach him at email@example.com.