Only 24% Know What Cap and Trade Is


The gap between Capitol Hill and Main Street is huge when it comes to the so-called "cap-and-trade" legislation being considered in Congress. So wide, in fact, that few voters even know what the proposed legislation is all about.

Given a choice of three options, just 24% of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29%) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17% think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30%) have no idea.

Many Americans find the debate in Washington over adopting a "cap and trade" program to reduce carbon dioxide a bit confusing. That's understandable. Put simply, it's a tax on energy consumption.

In fact, it would be a huge tax. If enacted, cap-and-trade will be one of the government's largest revenue sources within the next decade. It also would break one of President Obama's promises. In his speech before Congress in February, he said, "If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime." Unless you use energy, apparently.

In 2007, MIT did a study on the costs of cap and trade and found that cap and trade proposals that would reduce carbon emission by 50% to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 would cost the American household $800 a year in economic losses and $3,100 a year in taxes collected by the federal government. That’s a total $3,900 cost for the average American household! How does this cost compare to other household expenses?

Politicians love cap and trade because they can claim to be taxing "polluters," not workers. Hardly. Once the government creates a scarce new commodity -- in this case the right to emit carbon -- and then mandates that businesses buy it, the costs would inevitably be passed on to all consumers in the form of higher prices. Stating the obvious, Peter Orszag -- now Mr. Obama's budget director -- told Congress last year that "Those price increases are essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program."


austin tx personal trainers said...

"Those price increases are essential to the success of a cap-and-trade program."

That is perverse and he is right up front about - amazing.

Notoriously Conservative said...

You can be upfront about something when only 24% of the population knows what you are being upfront about. And truly, that number is probably smaller, since the 24% only identifies those that know it has something to do with the environment. How many actually know it is a monumental tax? *DONT_KNOW*

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