Past behavior is an indicator of future behavior," he said. " . . . Now, (Peterson) says we've not spent anything more than public safety, with the exception of long-term debt. We've taken on a lot of long-term debt, so fiscal health is an issue here I would disagree with."
Then, looking straight into the camera and speaking to the television audience, Ballard invoked the wisdom of television talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw.
"As Dr. Phil would say, 'How's that workin' for ya?' " Ballard asked. "He's had eight years. All of his policies are in place. How's that workin' for ya?"
Ruthhart's account omits Ballard's line about Peterson raising taxes 19 times during the past 8 years. It also makes it appear Peterson only raised the income tax once from 1.00% to 1.65%. The tax has actually gone up 135% under Peterson as a result of earlier increases in the income tax rate. While Peterson defended his latest 65% income tax increase as necessary to fight crime, Ballard was quick to point out it won't result in an increase in police officers on the street at any time in the near future. Ruthhart writes, "Ballard said he would pay for new police officers by cutting other areas of the city's budget." "Ballard argued that the tax increase wouldn't lead to an immediate addition of police officers and that the pension problems were not an immediate threat" "We were not going to lose any pensions, whatsoever," Ballard said. "That's what people must understand."
Ballard also scored points on the issue of creating jobs. "From 2002 to 2006, we've had a net increase in jobs in Marion County of 146." "That's not a good record." "We are not welcoming to companies right now with our crime and tax rates." Ballard also questioned Peterson on his phony claim he saved taxpayers $20 million through the police merger. "I'm not sure that there were any savings . . . I've said from day one that we need to put operational control of the police department back under the mayor's office."