Dale F. Ogden is the Libertarian Party candidate for governor. Ogden is the owner of Dale F. Ogden and Associates. He also has served as a senior manager, consultant and actuary for KPMG, Pete Marwick, and as Executive Vice President/Actuary of Kramer Capital Consultants. Capitol Weekly caught up with him this week to discuss the political landscape.
You’ve mentioned that Meg Whitman “is particularly naive when she proposes giving more money to the University of California and California State University Systems.” How does this differ from your policy of turning government around?
UC and Cal State are over funded. They are also poorly managed, inefficient, and wasteful. For example, when UCKA built a building it spent six times as much money per square foot as private developers. They get the money and they spend it, whether they need it or not. They provide too many baby sitting services for students (who should be expected to act as adults) rather than focusing on education. Professors are pampered and under worked; they spend too little time teaching. Some colleges and universities require professors to teach four classes per semester but many at UC and Cal State teach only one or two per quarter. Graduate assistants do most of the work. An efficiently run school could operate with half the money. There is no reason to give them more to waste.
You’ve also mentioned cutting welfare programs, specifically Home Health Care. Many disabled children and adults rely on their family and friends for survival especially their parents because caregivers are hard to come by. How would you insure that disabled individuals do not end up in institutions?
People got by before these programs existed and it is morally wrong for government to force taxpayers to pay for others’ medical care. It is not my job to take care of other people’s families. I believe in personal responsibility. If others wish to donate to charities that support these individuals, then that is their right to do so; and if taxes were not so onerous and waste so rampant then we’d all have more money to donate to charity. It is also inefficient because there is so much fraud. And if these programs are so important, why must they be unionized? What does the union contribute? Taxpayer money redirected to the union and to the Democratic Party. Whatever good may exist in the program is outweighed by the fraud and inefficiency. Government needs to get out of the heath care financing business and let medicare care providers compete and innovate to bring costs down. Morally, it is simple: charity is a virtue but welfare is theft.
You stated you want to eliminate state income taxes and property taxes. Can you explain if our state has the same resources or mechanisms that Texas has in order to survive without taxes?
Our state has plenty of resources to survive without income taxes and with lower property taxes. There are thousands of programs and agencies that serve no legitimate purpose of government. They should be abolished. There is rampant waste and fraud. Pensions and salaries and other ebenfits for most state employees are excessive. Government should also get out of the education business (it does an abysmal job of educating children), let people keep their taxes and decide where and how to educate their children. For those who could not afford education, there would be scholarships. There would also be a lot more vocational training for those who are not academically inclined.
What are the biggest differences between you and Meg Whitman?
Meg Whitman may have run a successful business, but she ran a business based on a new idea (not hers), using newly available technology. It was a terrific idea and comparatively easy to make money and easy to grow and create jobs. Many issues she faced were technological, not managerial. On the other hand, I have run a bureaucracy, as CEO of an insurance company that, much like government agencies, was overstaffed, poorly managed, and losing money. I cut the staff by 80 percent over a period of about a year, eliminated unnecessary departments, and returned the company to profits (and someone bought it). I also planned and supervised turnarounds at other insurance companies. We need a turnaround person for Governor, someone who doesn’t care if the other politicians and bureaucrats like them or hate them.
If you were elected governor of California, what are the three main things you would do to try to fix California?
Reduce spending by California state government at least to 1998 levels by reducing state employees’ salaries and pensions (including, for both current and future retirees, an increase in retirement age to at least 65, a roll-back of accruals to pre-1999 levels, and elimination of overtime in calculating the base) and other benefits to private sector levels, eliminating (through the line-item veto) many useless and harmful licensing and regulatory agencies, and cutting the number of employees at most remaining agencies….
Eliminate (again through the line-item veto) a large number of social welfare programs, especially those, like the California Home Health Care Program (where family members are often paid to care for their relatives and forced to unionize), where there is rampant fraud and abuse.
Abolish state income taxes and reduce sales and property taxes. Many states govern more effectively with only a fraction of the money California extorts from its citizens. States, like Texas, with no income taxes have experienced much higher economic growth and job creation than those, like California, with the highest income taxes (we have the third worst income tax and fourth worst capital gains tax).
Independent party candidates have argued they should be included in the debates. Others have argued there is no reason to include candidates who can’t win. Explain why you should have been there, and what you would tell the people of California.
…The major parties both offer only centrally-planned, top down, one-size-fits-all solutions to problems, and pander to every special interest group. People who watch the debates are often not aware that there are other, more freedom-oriented, solutions proposed to social and economic problems.