December 2nd, 2012
11:25 AM ET
1 year ago

Boehner ‘flabbergasted’ at fiscal cliff proposal

(CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner painted a bleak picture Sunday when talking about fiscal cliff negotiations between the White House and Republicans.

"Right now I would say we're nowhere. Period. We're nowhere. We've put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved, but the White House has responded with virtually nothing," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday."

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Boehner said the reason negotiations are going so poorly is that Obama administration officials - in particular, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner - aren't taking Republicans seriously. Boehner said he was shocked at Geithner's proposal to Republicans last week.

"I was flabbergasted. I looked at him and I said, 'You can't be serious.' I've just never seen anything like it," Boehner said.

Geithner has said his plan included cuts to Medicare and additional stimulus spending, but also an expiration of Bush-era tax cuts to those making over $250,000 a year. Furthermore, the proposal included the closing of some loopholes and new limits on deductions, as well as an increase in the estate tax rate and taxes on capital gains and dividends.

Boehner acknowledged that President Barack Obama won the election on a platform that in part was based on increasing taxes for those making over $250,000. This is a major sticking point in negotiations, and Boehner said the president must compromise with the GOP.

"They won the election, (but) they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold the majority in the House. But the president's idea of a negotiation is, 'Roll over and do what I ask,'" Boehner said.

While Boehner admitted that going over the fiscal cliff would be detrimental to the economy, he said out-of-control spending is mortgaging the future of the next generation and must be reined in. Accordingly, the speaker said going over that cliff is a distinct possibility.

"I'm determined to solve our debt problem. We have a serious debt problem and it is going to be dealt with," Boehner said.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (905 Responses)
  1. stevetall

    Just how out of touch is this guy? Boehner doesn't seem to know which end is up on anything substantitive. News flash: The Republicans got crushed in this past election because they don't understand compromise, they don't understand economics, and they don't understand what the American people want and need. It's time to stop sucking up to the wealthy and make them pay a more equitable share. Afterall, they couldn't buy this election, though they poured hundreds of millions into it. Too bad they're not as interested in fixing the economy as they were in putting one of their own in the White House.

    December 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Robert from Ohio

    Boehner shouldn't be flabbergasted. It's a new day. America has been on to you and your cronies for years now. Time to right this wrong and put this country back on the path to success and growth, a la the Clinton years. Trickle down did nothing put pee on all of our legs.

    December 2, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. seerwavn

    The GOP is paid good money by the 2% to ensure they don't have to pay good money to the US government.

    December 2, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. amazed2

    Do the republicans realize that the American people voted against their way of doing things four weeks ago? Does anything other than power and elections even matter to this group?

    December 2, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Kim

    Boehner, man up and tell the American people what programs you want to go after. You know what the Democrats want, now say what you want to cut and how much. You know this will be very unpopular and want the President and the Democrats to take the heat for your ideas. Make public what you want to see now and maybe everyone can meet in the middle. Don't expect the President to due your dirty worl!

    December 2, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Chad

    finally the president ive been wating for! this is the man i voted for the man who actually doesnt back down like hes backed down to everything the last four years. bout time barack

    December 2, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Rick in AZ

    Boehner and McConnell have painted themselves into a corner. They need to understand with or without their heip the Bush tax cuts will expire on 1/1/13. They can then vote for a tax cut for the middle class or be turned out in the mid terms of 2014.

    December 2, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Chad

    obama didnt just win he DOMINATED. embarassing to a party living in the 1800's. change your ways or never win again. the only chance you have on winning is billionaire super pacs and voter id laws. as the years go on there will be more democrats and you will be whining about that too. your time is over with.

    December 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. fryuujin

    the question should be will the GOP push us over cliff and the answer is YES.

    The GOP drones in Washington ONLY represent the rich and they don't care about paying any taxes let alone more taxes, but they WILL force the issue because they can afford to pay more and know they rest of the country can't.

    December 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Jim

    If Republicans are honest about reducing the debt, they would want a revenue increase along with spending cuts. The deficit never mattered to them until this President was in the White House which tells me that there is no honesty in their posturing, only deceit.

    December 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Bea

    Boehner and Fox News, wish they would go away.

    December 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Dnick47

    Spoken on the Fox News Network. This says it all: 1) it was directed at old grooch white men who cannot tolerate change; 2) it was directed at the "jet set" mega money traitors who know absolutely anything about pariotism (i.e. Donald Trump et. al.) and 3 it was directed against false preachers and prophets whoes love of the world surpasses by far their dedication to God.

    December 2, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. 40acres

    I might be concerned if what Boehner said was true....but the President has put specifics on the table and we have all seen them. Now it's Boehner's turn to put specifics on the table....perhaps that is what is flabbergasting him.

    December 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. local

    Boehmer and his republican cronies need to wise up. They lost the election. The American public has spoken, this guy is a walking moron.

    December 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Greg

    Mr Boehner you are the one who has put nothing on the table. Let's see the plan and what cuts you want, we have learned that your are truly dishonest and have offered nothing in legislation that is not tied to a social issue. You need to be gone!

    December 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Greater Good

    Deal with it, John, and strike a deal before your party becomes even more despised, if not obsolete. An overwhelming majority of the American public, leading economists, and even billionaires see the logic of marginally higher tax rates– Nothing obscene like 90% during the white picket fence era of Eisenhower...just the way things were under Clinton. GOP is clingint tenuously to the will/pledge of a lobbyist (Norquist) and about 1.5% of the people. Wake up and smell the coffee...and people of America, write your congressional rep. if you're sick of these games!

    December 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Sashatree

    Flabbergasted? Haha - that's a good one! Obama spent his first term behaving like a mature, rational, cooperative and respectful leader, constantly trying to negotiate with the GOP and reach concensus on a variety of issues – without any success because Boner and the GOP had pledged to do everything they could to make sure Obama was a 1 term President. Well, Boner, THE GOP LOST AND THE VOTERS SUPPORT WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS PROPOSING, SO YOU HAVE NO NEGOTIATING POWER- YOU DON'T HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EITHER. SO SHUT UP AND SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S IDEAS AND DO WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR NATION!! President Obama has ALL THE POWER right now and has NO REASON to "be nice" to these jerks who've stomped all over him for years. Obama refused to be dragged down by the GOP during this first term, and ALWAYS took the high road – to no avail!! Now he has every reason to beat the snot out of the GOP by refusing to budge – and make them pay the price of their ill deeds!

    December 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Getoverit

    Compromise:
    An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by EACH SIDE making concessions.

    Maybe the Democrats should consult the dictionary....

    December 2, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. HoHum

    This simply shows that Democrats do not negotiate with terrorists.

    December 2, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Getoverit

    @Chad
    obama didnt just win he DOMINATED
    ------------
    Uh...... No he didn't. He won by 3%.

    December 2, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. DJ Reality

    This is ridiculous Washington had no problem getting us into this mess. Now they can't get themselves out of it. They cut taxes and went on a spending spree. Washington refuses to take the blame for their mistakes and we have to suffer for the problems they have caused. As for me I am sick of the complete lack of leadership on capital hill.

    December 2, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Terminatus

    First of all, the Republicans did NOT get crushed in the last election. Obama only won 3% more of the popular vote. Get a grip you libtards, a little less than half the country doesn't want Obama's policies. Secondly, this isn't just about taxing the "wealthy", this standoff is also about setting spending limits on govt so our country doesn't go bankrupt a la Greece you effing idiots! Obama is seriously proposing MORE spending–do you lib morons not see the folly in that??

    December 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Sashatree

    Flabbergasted? Haha - that's a good one! Obama spent his first term behaving like a mature, rational, cooperative and respectful leader, constantly trying to negotiate with the GOP and reach consensus on a variety of issues – without any success because Boner and the GOP had pledged to do everything they could to make sure Obama was a 1 term President. Well, Boner, THE GOP LOST AND THE VOTERS SUPPORT WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS PROPOSING, SO YOU HAVE NO NEGOTIATING POWER- YOU DON'T HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EITHER. SO SHUT UP AND SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S IDEAS AND DO WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR NATION!! President Obama has ALL THE POWER right now and has NO REASON to "be nice" to these jerks who've stomped all over him for years. Obama refused to be dragged down by the GOP during this first term, and ALWAYS took the high road – to no avail!! Now he has every reason to beat the snot out of the GOP by refusing to budge – and make them pay the price of their crimes against the American People!

    December 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Alex

    Do you know who created majority of the $16T deficit? Ans: REPUBLICANS!!!

    Do you know who put a budget and executed for balanced and surplus budget? -Ans DEMOCRATS

    Who converted surplus to deficit? Ans REPUBLICANS

    Bingo!!!

    I am flabbergasted by Republicans – Do they think we are stupid?
    Increasing Military expenses and giving tax cuts to top 2 % will decrease DEFICIT!!!!

    Did they promise they would not increase taxes from middle-class and poor. By cutting programs such as medicare/SS on which middle class/poor depend on for retirement – aren't they increasing taxes on middle class?

    Do you understand House Speaker – middle and poor class don't have too much money as the salaries have not increased for them while the top 2% have their wealth increased? If you don't know please Google it?

    How can I believe you when you and your party was responsible for majority of DEFICIT? This by giving tax cuts and increasing defense spending!!!

    December 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. poopmeister

    We all know that Washington was bought years ago. So I will always vote for a candidate that, at least, gives the illusion of a stance against the ubber rich and their crooked ways. If the 1% put some of their wealth back into society by increasing wages one corporation at a time, then our average wages would have continued to go up instead of staying relatively low for the past 20 or 30 years. They did it to themselves to protect their bottom line.....well, now they will get the fight of their life.

    December 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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