I think this result, from the Pew Research Center, should actually concern supporters of cap and trade:
One of the quirks of the elite political debate is that it tends to occur in dense cities with extremely impressive transportation infrastructures. DC. New York. Places where cars are more of a luxury item. But that, as the graph shows, is not how most Americans think of them. Car stereos are a luxury. Cars are a necessity. They're ranked as more important than a phone, a computer, or an air conditioning system.
That's not to say that the attachment between suburbanites and their Camrys is forgotten in the political conversation, but it doesn't, in my experience, inform the conversation as viscerally as some might expect. I fear that an Orange County commuter is car-dependent in a way a New Yorker has trouble fathoming, and thus correcting for, when they're thinking about how to sell a bill. The theory right now is that some sort of rebate system could actually make cap and trade an economic boon to the working class, if not the commuter. But loss aversion being what it is, I find it hard to imagine that the promise of a tax rebate they've never gotten before will overwhelm fears that they'll pay more money at the gas station they visit every week. One just seems more tangible than the other.
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