Re: How Much Would You Pay for Cap-and-Trade?

Derek Thompson has a post up which reproduces Nate Silver’s graph estimating that the break-even price for the average American to support solving AGW is about $19 per month, or not much more than CBO and EPA estimates for the costs of Waxman-Markey through 2020. This is almost certainly an accurate representation of polling reesponses, as it is closely consistent with the results that an MIT group has gotten for five years or so as they have nationally-represnetative polling on a very similar question.

However, here are a couple of severe problems with the implications of this post:

1. The most obvious is that responses such as this to a pollster, or commercial survey, are notoriously inaccurate predictors of behavior.

2. The more fundamental is that Thompson and Silver compare this response to the CBO projection of costs for Waxman-Markey as of 2020, which is many decades prior to the point at which it would even theoretically create significant benefits. In order to actually achieve its goals, it would have to be in place for many, many decades. By that point, its costs would, according to the EPA and any other competent analyst, be far higher, in absolute and % of income terms.