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

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About $19 a month? Then you're an average American. That's according to this fancy graph (after the jump) drawn up by Nate Silver based on a Washington Post poll. Silver took two pieces of data -- that when the monthly cost of the cap-and-trade bill is $10, 56 percent support it, and when it's $25, 44 percent support it -- drew lines, crossed the streams and came up with this:



capandtradeopinion.png

The "indifference point" -- that is, the point after which most Americans do not want to pay for climate change reform -- is right around $19. That good news for the Waxman-Markey bill, which should be voted on today. The Congressional Budget Office put the average monthly cost of that cap-and-trade bill at $14.58 as of 2020. As Nate explains, this is of course incredibly subjective considering differences in poll question and the unknown longterm costs of both global warming and the climate change bill. But really, $19 dollars a month is 63 cents a day. Is that so bad?


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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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