December 2nd, 2012
11:25 AM ET
2 years 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. cs

    How can Boehner be so arrogant and out of touch with the American people? He's behaving childishly. Can't wait for him to be out of office.

    December 2, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. mobobcat720@yahoo.com

    The republicans I guess is loyal to Grove( a lobbyist) not the American people!!!!

    December 2, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Another former republican

    Replace all incumbent Congressmen and Women in the next 2 elections and implement the following:

    2 term limit
    All meetings with lobbyists are to be conducted in the capitol offices and entire meeting is to be recorded and filmed and will be a public record.
    All Pay raises will be voted on by the public
    Ethics committees will consist of private citizens and not fellow congressmen/senators
    No retirement pay for serving your 2 terms
    If convicted of bribery you will pay all of your pay back plus the amount you received x2
    Pay will be based on actual days worked and will require your presence for all debates and votes (no show-no pay)
    If you leave and go to work for any country or government that you had to vote on while in office you will forfeit all previous pay and serve time in prison
    etc. etc

    December 2, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. John

    Read Geitners proposal people! It's ridiculous. Don't be blind fools and follow Obama just because he won an election...which was NOT just about taxes. Obama has shown NO desire to tackle spending. He's a progressive/socialist at heart. He's cajoling his way to that end by only talking only about taxes. Republicans have already put a ton of new tax rev on the table. Plenty in fact. If you want to really fix our problems, you can't just keep pouring good money over bad. I'm afraid this administration thinks the American people are that stupid. That's why Obama is campaigning instead of doing his job of reforming govt programs (including education). He doesn't want to negotiate. He wants to weaken the republic and make sure we get to a point where this progressive vision can't be turned back.

    December 2, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. mike

    I am sick of this, "lets make other people tax rates return to Clinton era, but not mine" bullspit. People need the grow up, realize they are going to have to tighten their budgets down a bit, and accept the fact that EVERYONES tax rate needs to go back up. There should be no one paying 0% or less than 0% income tax. Eliminate all tax credits, loopholes, and deductions. Start the minimum tax bracket at 5% and the highest at 35-40%, flat corporate tax rate of 20% with no deductions, loopholes, or credits. All other taxes can be negotiated later

    December 2, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Oly65

    Why is it when the Repugs dont get their way they say the Dems are not serious. Really I guess Boehnhead is not getting the 98% of what he wants this time. They repugs really cant handle it when they dont get their complete way and they take their football home and pout. These idiots would rather see the country go down than to not get their way. I guess the rich right has promised that if we go down they will still support the tea party when we go into the tank. When a party governs for the few for their own gain to supress the many its very disappointing.

    December 2, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Bill Carney

    "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."

    Dear Speaker Flabbergasted,

    You and your fellow Republican obstructionists may hold the House majority but Obama has the majority of the American electorate behind him ...... or have you already forgotten that?

    December 2, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Gawd! Is Boehner crying? He has a lot to cry about. Obama would be pretty stupid to start out in the middle, so to speak. What has Boehner put on the table? He's all talk..

    December 2, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. ddblah

    Sorry, Mr. Speaker, what is your "serious proposal"? Simply repeating what Romney said and rejected by the voters will not get you anywhere, PERIOD!

    December 2, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Jack in Florida

    Boehner is a bonehead, the number one obstructionist in Congress. Respect that the President won reelection and that the American people want a tax increase on the 1% and the 99% want their taxes to remain the same. Get over it and get on with governing ALL of the people, not just the 1 %, or the Repubs will feel the wrath of the voters come 2014!!!!!.

    December 2, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Judith

    The USA would be better off if it went over the Fiscal Cliff and then in January come back with legislation that restores the tax cuts to the middle classes and spending that needs to be increased/decreased.

    Once the USA has gone over the Fiscal Cliff the GOP/Tea Bags lose their blackmail chips and will have to work for the people of the USA and not just 2% of the USA.

    December 2, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Good Grief Charlie Brown

    If Bohner can't do his job, (representing the American people), then he should resign.
    Period.

    December 2, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. WhereIsPalin

    I earn 250,000.....you earn 250,001. We pay the same rate on the 250,000. You pay a slightly higher rate on that next dollar. What's the problem? Are you going to stop being wealthy?

    As far as small business "job creaters"? They will hire if there is DEMAND.

    December 2, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Pete/Ark

    changes his tone and direction about as often as he (hopefully) changes his socks ... this guy is more confused than a chameleon on a plaid blanket.

    December 2, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. WhereIsPalin

    .....And lower tax rates don't stop the "job creaters" from laying off people if there is a lack of demand. It's DEMAND, not ever decreasing tax rates.

    December 2, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Kick all GOP idiots and show people are more flabberghasted.

    December 2, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Mick

    Funny, what this article conveniently doesn't tell you about Boehner et all being flabbergasted over is that the proposal also includes $50 BILLION in stimulus money (it vaguely give one line to additional spending) – oh, and they want congress to give up power over the debt ceiling, because there really shouldn't even be on to begin with. So not only are there zero commitments to do anything with entitlements and to cut spending, only vague referrals to it – they want to raise taxes AND spend more money. I don't recall the American people voting for a new "stimulus". Wake up, people – do your homework. Not that some of you care, Obama can do no wrong.

    December 2, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. allens

    maybe obama should have promised the republicans a war, or giving the oil companies more of americans tax money. that would have made them more agreeable. maybe giving the wealthy bigger tax breaks. remember this next election.

    December 2, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Norbert Baldaia

    Republicans and democrats get you heads out of your idealogical butts. Why are none of you talking about spending cuts too? The issue is and always has been spending beyond our means. It is why social security is in jeopardy because the greedy politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle have raided it, borrowed from it and stuffed it with a bunch of worthless IOU's. Stop pork projects, stop subsidizing (that means mortgage deductions and charitable donation deductions as well), stop social engineering, stop redistribution, tax EVERYBODY their FAIR share and get this country back on track. This isn't rocket science. Everybody plays so everybody pays including illegal immigrants. If you want to go back to Clinton era taxes then go back to Clinton era spending as well. Otherwise shut up because you're only proposing half of a solution.

    December 2, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. John

    Let the Bush Era Taxes expire. That will probably be the best thing for the Democrats. By not compromising, the GOP is only hurting themselves. Going back to the Clinton Era taxes will be far worse for them compared to what Obama was proposing. Obama is actually somewhat of a moderate and I am sure his deal would be more pleasing to the GOP than going back to the original Clinton ERA. Like what was mentioned before, this is a win-win situation for the democrats.

    December 2, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Stalled

    The King of Fillerbuster is Flabergasted!

    December 2, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. charles

    @Gabbo.Whether big P or small p he is still the president. We will vote for him again if we get the chance.Haters are crying – maaaa,maaaaa. Loser. Lol

    December 2, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Jon

    The liberals offered nothing. They expect the GOP to agree to $1.6 trillion in taxes, but Obama offers 1/4 of that in spending cuts that are vague and not going to happen for 6 months. The GOP leaned over the past 2 years what Obama is capable of. The GOP caved on the debt ceiling increase, the Bush tax cut extension, and the tax rate issue, all with promises from Obama. Once congress approved those bills Obama went back on his promise. So now Obama wants the GOP to give in first again, then gets upset because the GOP wants Obama to actually compromise. That's incredibly ridiculous.

    December 2, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. David

    Boehner is not showing the political courage to say what he would cut, he is complaining when the only idea he has put forward is the voucherization of medicare which is a horrible idea that he knows neither the public nor the President will get behind – either provide realistic ideas or get out of the way.

    December 2, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Common sense grandma

    If he is flabbergasted now, wait until the GOP rejects everything and the next mid-terms come in 2014

    December 2, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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