Today Yale and George Mason are releasing the third report from their latest national survey, Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies in April 2013. ...
A majority—61 percent—supports a carbon tax that would help pay down the national debt. But, as is typical, opposition to a carbon tax gains a majority (58 percent) when the specific cost to households is presented (in this case $180). Still, a large majority of Americans say they support a US effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.
Here is the graph that shows where 61% are in favor of a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies:
What is interesting is that the $180 question gets slightly more support than a $0.25/gallon gas tax where the revenue is used to lower income taxes. Also, I wonder why the language changes from question to question. In the first graph the bad guys are described as "fossil fuel companies" and in the second they are called "companies that produce or import fossil fuels." When language changes it is never clear if the questions are directly comparable.
This graph might be the most interesting:
When people are taxed and not "companies" support withers. Of course, students of economics know it doesn't matter who pays the tax. Also, the large numbers of "don't know" responses makes one wonder. Do respondents truly not know how these proposals might affect them or are they satisficing? My guess is that it is the former since these are complicated issues.
Another survey question issue: the question asks about "how likely would you be to support or oppose the proposal ..." but the answers are not in a "likely" Likert scale (i.e., very likely, somewhat likely ...). Have things in survey design changed while I dumbly marched through time?
In case you are wondering, the sample is fine. From Appendix II:
The data in this report are based on a nationally representative survey of 1,045American adults, aged 18 and older, conducted from April 8 – 15, 2013. All questionnaires were self-administered by respondents in a web-based environment. The survey took, on average, about 27 minutes to complete.
The sample was drawn from GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, an online panel of members drawn using probability sampling methods. Prospective members are recruited using a combination of random digit dial and address-based sampling techniques that cover virtually all (non-institutional) resident phone numbers and addresses in the United States. Those contacted who would choose to join the panel but do not have access to the Internet are loaned computers and given Internet access so they may participate.
The sample therefore includes a representative cross-section of American adults – irrespective of whether they have Internet access, use only a cell phone, etc. Key demographic variables were weighted, post survey, to match US Census Bureau norms.