John Chiang spoke to the Fresno Rotary in a noontime address in his official capacity as the state’s treasurer. But, he made sure to put over his accomplishments as if someone who is running for higher office. Which he is. For governor in 2018.

Chiang spoke to the weekly Rotary gathering at the Cornerstone Conference Center downtown. The half-hour address covered the state’s finances during his political career. Like with the national economy, the state’s tanked during the recession of 2009. Junk bond status made borrowing more expensive.

Things fortunately have improved for the state’s finances, but not so much for the middle class. “What we are witnessing today is a slow deterioration, and it’s a slow deterioration, of the middle class. It is because our wage increases, up until recently, have not gone up as quickly as the cost of living. When you add the California factor, it makes it much more difficult, because we are a high cost state.”

He also discussed income distribution among Californians. “We have extraordinary income and wealth inequality in the state. I’m not trying to turn that in political terms. If we want California to be prosperous for the future, we have to make sure that we rebuild the opportunities for all Californians. Especially those who are middle and lower income.”

Chiang also talked about the proposed wall on the Mexican border without using the term wall or mentioning President Donald Trump. “Mexico is California’s largest trading partner. To put up any roadblocks in regards to the efficient flows of commerce, is going to have a huge impact on state revenues and the economy and the labor force of the state of California. So it is critical that you continue to advocate and work with your representatives in Washington, D.C. so that we can have strong positive immigration policies that benefit all of California.”

He also avoided Trump’s name when discussing his recent meeting with Chinese leadership. Chiang mentioned that Chinese tourist spend up to $8,000 when they visit America.

Other topics covered by Chiang included collecting taxes, modernizing technology in the treasurer’s office and highlighting the billions of dollars’ worth of audits performed while he was state controller (2007-15).

Watch the full speech:


Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

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