(CNN)There are two indisputable facts about the tax cut bill Republicans are trying to finesse through the Senate.
2 indisputable facts about the Senate tax bill
1. The Congressional Budget Office analysis of the tax bill shows it will raise the deficit by $1.4 trillion. (And remember that the Senate version repeals the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act as a way to lessen the blow of the deficit increase.)
2. The Joint Committee on Taxation, in a report released Thursday, predicted that the gross domestic product would increase by .8% over 10 years as a result of the tax legislation. That's well short of the 3-5% GDP growth predicted by the most optimistic conservatives and means, in simple terms, that the tax plan would not pay for itself -- or even come close.
For the pre-Trump version of the Republican Party, either one of those facts would have been hard to swallow. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Arizona Sen. John McCain campaigned relentlessly on his lifetime commitment to cutting government spending and working to shrink the deficit that our children and grandchildren would inherit. House Speaker Paul Ryan, too, was touted as a committed deficit hawk. Same with virtually every Republican member of the Senate.
That this bill even has a chance to pass the Senate -- another version passed the House earlier this month -- speaks to just how much Trump has changed the party in a very short period. It also reveals just how desperate Republicans in Congress are to do something -- anything -- they can take back to their voters in 2018 to show they are changing things in Washington.
(Sidebar: The fate of the bill -- due to the very question of deficits -- remains in real limbo as I hit publish tonight.)
The necessity of doing something -- anything! -- may well drag this bill over the line. But don't confuse passage with success. Republicans will need to find a way to grapple with those two facts I outlined above between now and next November.
And that is no easy task.
Read Thursday's full edition of The Point.