Fifty-fix percent of people in the U.S. would support a tax on carbon emissions that would cost roughly $600 per year to help cut the deficit, according to a new poll.
The finding arrives as carbon tax proposals are generating increased interest among policy wonks and climate activists, although political leaders in both parties have spurned the idea.
The online research firm YouGov asked respondents to choose from 10 deficit-cutting options — such as income tax increases, various spending cuts, entitlement reductions and others — that they find “least painful.”
But the poll, conducted for Slate magazine, has a catch: The survey requires each respondent to select enough options to provide at least $900 billion in deficit reduction by 2022.
Within that framework, a carbon tax that would save $159 billion in 2022 received a 56 percent approval rating, according to Slate, which said the poll was conducted among a “representative sample” of 1,000 people.
The carbon tax had the fifth-highest approval rating in the poll. It’s more popular than proposals such as a national sales tax, cutting Medicare or Social Security benefits, and repealing the expansion of health insurance coverage. ...
The most popular choice, with an 84 percent approval rating, was to allow the Bush-era tax rates to expire for at least some people. ...