Pelosi seeks ‘windfall profits’ tax on Avengers ticket sales

If House Democrats have their way, your favorite Marvel superheroes will be hit with a "windfall profits" tax once an arbitrarily defined level of success has been met. Republicans argue that this will result in fewer superhero movies making it to the market.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to find an 11th hour solution to Marvel Studios’ The Avengers, which is primed to be one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters. Sources close to producers Avi Arad and Jon Favreau have confirmed that the California Democrat has been in touch with Marvel Studios, and that a “windfall profits” tax will be in place before Friday, May 4 if Democrats can cobble together enough votes.

The Associated Press received the following from Pelosi’s office late Monday:

“Investments.” “Risk.” “Reward.” Such is the language of the Republican Party. Extremists. The GOP would have you believe that it was a “risk” to set up an Avengers movie with a series of films based on many of the individual characters: Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America. They would have you believe that an Avengers movie was no sure bet, and that the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on these movies and their marketing campaigns by no means guaranteed success. Rubbish! It’s high time Hollywood paid its fair share. If Democrats have their way, Marvel Studios will be the first to pay a windfall profits tax on its flagship characters, in addition to their corporate taxes (which also need higher rates). Warner Bros. will then follow suit in August, when The Dark Knight Rises takes number one at the box office. Behind every Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark movie are greedy Hollywood producers; that will change starting today.

The Hollywood Reporter seems to back up the Minority Leaders predictions, at least in this isolated case, although the philosophical debate is something that will have to be settled inside the Beltway on on cable news airwaves:

Avengers also is tracking better than Lionsgate’s blockbuster The Hunger Games, which posted a record March bow of $152.5 million to score the third-best opening of all time behind Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Dark Knight, respectively.

According to first tracking, unaided awareness in Avengers is 13 percent, compared with 10 percent for Dark Knight and 11 percent for Hunger Games; first choice is 23 percent, tying with Hunger Games and higher than the 19 percent for Dark Knight.

Total awareness is 85 percent, compared with 76 percent for Dark Knight and 74 percent for Hunger Games; definite interest is 61 percent, versus 62 percent for Dark Knight and 54 percent for Hunger Games.

Asked to comment, House Majority Leader John Boehner set up a stark (pardon the pun) contrast between Republicans and Democrats:

“The windfall profits tax proposed by Democrats will go nowhere because Americans want more Marvel movies, not less—and taxing Marvel Studios will result in less movies. Let me tell you what House Republicans will do to this bill in a way that Marvel fans—and fans of The Hulk—can all understand. BOEHNER SMASH!

Tiger Woods Channels Congress: The Debt Ceiling With an Anthony Weiner Twist.

Tiger Woods and Congress have a lot in common right now, particularly when it comes to projected earnings and financial disasters.

In a rut of his own making, Tiger Woods has turned toward Asia to solve the financial fallout that’s followed. Golf’s one-time golden boy, like the Democrats’ Anthony Weiner, couldn’t keep his commitment to his wife. Politicians in Washington, DC (aka: Anthony-Weiners-in-Waiting), haven’t been able to keep their financial commitments to the American people and future generations. The result makes the multi-ethnic Woods somehow even more of a metaphor for the country:

As Tiger’s revenues have declined, his expenses have only climbed. To begin with, there’s the reported $100 million divorce settlement. And last August, Woods took out a $54.5 million mortgage on his home in Jupiter Island, Florida. According to the public document, Woods is required to pay off the mortgage in full by January of 2016, giving him a mere five and a half years to shed the debt. He’s therefore paying more than $10 million each year, including his $431,042 in annual property taxes.

As sad as Tiger’s fall from grace has been, there’s still one big difference: Tiger Woods is not in debt up to his eyeballs. His infidelity to his wife caused his financial problems, whereas Congress’ infidelity to the budget has caused ours. Tiger has five years to figure out how to come up with millions; in the past year the U.S. paid more on the interest on its debt than it spent on spent on The Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, or The Department of Veterans Affairs!

While it’s sad that Woods now has to do Japanese commercials, sometimes they’re so sad they become awesome, as was the case with Nicolas Cage (another one who doesn’t know how to manage his money very well). Republicans in Congress should offer a “New Deal”: Entitlements get reformed, and for each new tax increase prominent Democrats will have to do a slew of Japanese advertisements commensurate with the amount of revenue they claim it will bring in. Think about it, Boehner. Think about it…

Car Warning Label Bill Gains Liberal Support After Ryan Dunn’s Death.

The Federal Government has announced new warning labels for motor vehicles, inspired by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Liberals in the House of Representatives are busy working behind the scenes on a new “Car Label” bill that would mirror the recent cigarette labels chosen by the Department of Health and Human Services. Tentatively titled The Family Driving Prevention and Motor Vehicle Control Act, even high ranking Obama Administration officials do not deny the similarities to The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (which Obama signed into law in 2009). At one point, even the President—who still occasionally leans on nicotine to get him through the day—commented on the nascent driving bill:

”I know —I was one of those teenagers,” he said, standing beneath a punishing afternoon sun at a Rose Garden ceremony. ”I know how difficult it can be to break this habit when it’s been with you for a long time.”

Oddly enough, no one from the press asked him about the quote, which was identical to his statement on The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, however, did weigh in:

The bottom line is this: Cars are dangerous. Really dangerous. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there were over 37,000 fatalities in 2008 due to car crashes. That’s not including the effects on the rest of the 84,000 who were involved in an accident, whether something as serious as a loss of a limb to lasting psychological damage. If more people walked to work (with a helmet), we would have a safer, happier, and greener U.S. population.  Ryan Dunn’s untimely death should serve as a catalyst for the change America needs—not tomorrow—but now. If the federal government cares enough about its citizen-smokers to put labels on cigarettes, it should care enough about its citizen-drivers to put massive labels on the hoods of their cars. I’m looking forward to the recommendations the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes out with after our August recess, as are millions of other Americans.

When asked to comment, Speaker John Boehner got in his Jaguar XJ220, revved the engine, and peeled out down Washington Ave. towards Interstate 395.

Liberals in Congress want to know: If it works for citizen smokers, why won’t it work for citizen drivers?

Editor’s Note: This post brought to you by The Family Satire and Humorless Government Act of 2011.