The annualized cost of controlling pollution in America in 1972 was $48.5 billion in 2008 dollars (or 0.9% of GDP). The annualized cost of controlling pollution in America in 2005 was $291.6 billion (or 2.8% of GDP).
The cost of cleaning up the toxic waste in the financial system is estimated to be $700 billion in 2008 dollars. This is five percent of GDP. OK, so this $700 billion isn’t all likely to be lost, maybe the “taxpayers” will get $250 billion back, so maybe this will cost $450 billion, or 3.2 percent of GDP. And all we get out of it is a lot of hot air.