Matt Towery

I've always considered former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to be an astute political observer. But when I hear him suggest the need to include "revenue" as part of the proposal by the ridiculous "Super Committee" of Congress to cut another $1.2 trillion of federal spending, I see white flags and images of Swiss cheese holes coming into view.

Then I read that Republicans in Congress, while fighting "every possible tax increase," want to hand President Obama the election by opposing his effort to continue the cut in the payroll deduction tax that is now in place. Now that hunk of cheese is beginning to smell like the Republican establishment's rotten "go along, get along" politics. Those openings in the cheese become gaping holes for "revenue enhancements" in a year in which voters don't want any.

The plain truth is that there is a growing effort to persuade Republican candidates and voters that the there is a rift between the average Republican voter and the so-called "tea party" voter.

Polling makes it clear that this nation is highly polarized. It also shows us that the vast majority of Republicans and independents -- who make up the lion's share of the president's whopping disapproval ratings -- are also saying they support the concepts of less government and lower taxes. That's the very essence of tea party politics.

Let me repeat that: less government and lower taxes.

So, is raising the amount deducted from paychecks consistent with the concept of fighting for lower taxes? Absolutely not. And based on a story by the Associated Press -- which reads like an advertisement for the Democrats -- the position of Republican leaders in Washington appears to be that of favoring a hidden tax increase by not supporting the continued break in the payroll tax.

Apparently the reasoning is that this is where the some 46 percent of Americans who don't pay income tax can be forced to pay more to the government by increasing everyone's payroll deduction tax. Could Republican leaders be any dumber? A tax is a tax, just like a horse is a horse ... of course.

So now we have the likes of Jeb Bush saying we should "increase federal revenue," as well as Republican members of Congress saying they oppose an extension of a tax break that even Barack Obama favors.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery