Would the Public Support “Cap and Refund”?

I’ve never been convinced that “cap and trade” is more politically viable than a rebated carbon tax.  I believe a relatively simple, transparent policy of taxing carbon but rebating the revenues to consumers is more appealing than an overly complex regulatory scheme that is difficult to understand, particularly if the latter approach will also increase energy prices but not rebate revenues to consumers.  Dan Farber points to a recent poll that is suggestive on this point.  Among its findings: “A majority of Republicans support this proposal because it is simple, relies very little on government involvement, encourages innovation from the private sector, and provides a tax-cut style refund.” Of course, it’s just one poll — and such findings must always be taken with several teaspoons of salt (FDA willing), but it’s interesting nonetheless.

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