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. jas

    Why will not the GOP even consider a small increase in taxes for those in the upper income tax bracket? Is it this notion of the camel's nose in the tent and pretty soon you have a tax rate of the 1980s? That is not a realistic fear. The White House is negotiating in good faith, but the GOP has to consider what the American people want, and that is individuals with higher incomes to pay more. How much more? That is where the negotiating is to be focused on. Come on Boehner. I am surprised he did not start to cry on meet the press.

    December 2, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. ondeck

    GOP is on their last chance – if they don't get with the program they will not be in exsistence in a few years maybe even as soon as 2014 – we are sick and tired of this juvenile game they are playing with OUR lives. Do your freakin job!

    December 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Name

    I suppose in some incidents the minority does rule...what is this South Africa?

    December 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. rs

    Rob-
    Grow up. Obama won by more than 3%, by more that 100 EC votes, and the Democrats picked up seats against Republicans in both the House and Senate. Your Party lost because it is the party of the rich, and most of America isn't. Your losers don't get to dictate terms now- get it?The AMerican people want tax increases, not a party in the pocket of a sicko lobbyist.

    December 2, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. single mother

    This is exactly why I voted strictly Demoratic this past election. Boehner can count on me voting strictly Democratic again in two years. The people have spoken: those earning over 250k need to pay their fair share in taxes. Boehner is not above American citizens. Boehner serves us and thus fair he's not doing his job.

    December 2, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Tim

    Flabbergasted? Goodness gracious me! What a conundrum!

    December 2, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. PhillyGuy

    The facts are this: this is not 1 single republican anywhere in the US that can give CREDIBLE data and facts that show ANY tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% since Pres Reagan that have created jobs and helped our economy, none. It's a myth that the GOP have continued to hold onto, and were never truly challenged on.

    If your tax cuts were soo much of a help, then how the hell did we go into a recession in 2008? Why did the middle class have to pay for a bailout to help this country get back on it's feet then? You guys are nothing but greedy liars. Stop holding your rich palms out for corporate welfare from the government, disguised as tax cuts!

    December 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Bill Pag

    @Rob – Compromise? WTH are you talking about! The Bush tax rates(income and capital gains) have been in place since well uhhh Bush! The stock market has doubled and has corporate america responded with jobs? Nope they just work salaried workers harder with the threats of layoffs and offshoring! So yeah put down the FOX kool-aid and open your mind!

    December 2, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. cincinnatidavid

    Mr. Boehner is a terrible actor when it comes to flabbergastation.

    December 2, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. HenryMiller

    "...but the White House has responded with virtually nothing,"

    Obama hates private wealth so much that he'd rather wreck the US economy than let people keep the money they've spent their lifetimes earning. He himself has admitted that "soak the rich" won't solve the country's debt and deficit problems, and that leaves only pure vindictiveness as his motive.

    December 2, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. littleme

    I think most Americans by now can see through the game of those Republicans who are rextremely rich and wish to dominate at everyone else's expense. For those less fortunate Republicans: get a clue please!

    No more!

    December 2, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    I have never seen (in my 54 years) a President and Administration so stupid that he doesn't care that we end up in another recession. He is hell bent on bringing this economy to a halt!

    December 2, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. D.Mama

    4yrs ago the Tea Partiers claimed if elected there would be more jobs,! That had to be one big laugh! Have the American people forgotten? They are only the party of NO! Bone head better wake up! !I recall the people of America just spoke LOUD AND CLEAR !!

    December 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Invisigoth

    Obama has done nothing but try to compromise and gets a slap in the face each time. 12 years of bush tax cuts – we should be drowning in jobs. We're not. Obviously the only people being helped by those tax cuts are the rich. The rest of the 98% has had the short end of the stick. Boehner and his congress lost 2 seats, they lost the presidency. Obviously the 53% who voted for Obama like what they saw, liked what they heard and are tired of the republican b.s.

    Until the party of No becomes the party of compromise, I will never vote republican again.

    December 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. usa

    The current salary (2011-2012) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.

    Senate Leadership salary
    Majority Party Leader – $193,400
    Minority Party Leader – $193,400

    House Leadership salary
    Speaker of the House – $223,500
    Majority Leader – $193,400
    Minority Leader – $193,400

    Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation.

    To get rid of bad seeds and show-stoppers in Congress, we need to exercise the following:

    1) Establish a new law in USA for all American to exercise their constitution right by voting to expel, recall or lay-off any members of US Congress whose action is hindering progress and acting as a show-stopper which deems to betray the entire nation interest.
    2) Set up the maximum of 2 terms limit for all US Congressman or woman.
    3) Scale back their salary to 1986 pay rate. They are making too much money and did not serve the country well.
    4) Invent a new law that prevent those lay-off congressman from collecting the state and federal unemployment benefit to let them experience the pain and suffering of ordinary citizens in those situation.

    This will fix the corrupted Congress and clean up US politics very quickly.

    December 2, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. baille

    Bohooooooooo! Poor John Boehner . . . your tears will not matter now. You can order an truck load full of Klennex from Proctor and Gamble, get a truck load of Budweiser, and "cry in your beer". And you may be shocked at what you are hearing from the White House. Bottom line is . . . President Obama is going to hold the line on you this time around, and no GOP meeting to make him a "one term President", will ever help either!! Your taxes WILL be going up when the Bush tax rates expire the 1st of January. Perhaps a case of "Captain Morgan" is in order!! Booooohoooooo!

    December 2, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Spike2014

    The US populace has become so weak. Why does everyone want other people's stuff? I'm not rich, but if I keep working my butt off maybe I will be some day. If/when that day comes, I don't want the govt to steal my $$ and give it to some lazy folks. Where is our work ethic? It died with the greatest generation....

    December 2, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Jay jay

    What the dems don't want you to know is that all this taxing the rich will only pay for one week worth of spending. What really needs to be done is to cut all this welfare spending but obomba will never touch that one because that is his core constituents.

    December 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. NavaJohn

    2014 .. tick .. tick .. tick.

    December 2, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. JC

    You're all a bunch of losers. Why should people who make $ have to suffer because you cant make a living for yourselves.

    The 1-2% that Dems always reference is incorrect. More than 2% make $250k/year and if taxed to the nth degree dont be surprised to see unemploymentbgo tjrough the roof.

    And in 2014 when Obama's failed 6 years leave you unemployed watch the GOP take control of house and senate. The dictator Obama is a selfish jerk with his own corrupt agenda.

    December 2, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Jean Sartre

    Boner may say he "understands Obama won the election" and "revenues are now on the table" but he really doesn't mean any of it! If he allows the Tax Rates to go up, he loses his Weepership... that is all he is interested in. The rest of the Republicans are simply afraid of losing their job because Norquist, a non-elected, special interest group and activist, will make sure they have a Tea Party challenger for the 2014 election. None of this, on the Republican side, is about the fiscal cliff or the American people... it is all about keeping their $174,000 a year job!

    Norquist, on the other hand, sounds like some porno-producer, all he can talk about is the Republicans being "seduced" and "impure" thoughts... and this cretin rules the Republican Party!

    December 2, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. TPharm

    $3 in tax hikes to be enacted now, with a measly $1 in cuts to be "talked about next year," is not the balanced approach Americans signed on for. Once again, Obama campaigned as a Centrist and took a sharp left turn after election. The last time this happened we had trusted with with both houses if Congress and we got Obamacared. This time the electorate kept a GOP house to keep Obama in check.
    He's not listening. He' demanded power to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally without congressional approval. How very Mohammed Morsi of him. This is the kind of thing that gets the guys in Idaho marching.
    Snippets of Obama's petulant arrogance showed during the debates, creating doubt as to whether he has the negotiating skills for the job. it may be that Obama's arrogance will be his Shakespearean " tragic flaw," marking his
    legacy for the dumpster. The cold hard fact remains that unless Obama solves the greatest threat to our national
    security, our catastrophic debt problem, after creating the ugliest cultural divisions in recent memory, he will go down as
    probably the worst president in US history. He's off to a lousy start. Instead of working for all the people to solve problems, he is maniacally pursuing more political power.

    December 2, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. RichardS

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Why did the public also vote enough Republicans into the house if they didn't intend them to act like Repubicans? The Dems had complete control earilier and they accomplished nothing of importance except to pass a health care law by the barest marigin that will bankrupt this country by taxing states that are already pushed to the wall, drying up the supply of doctors, and putting premiums at new highs.

    December 2, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Russ in Md.

    Obozo is right that 60% of america wants the rich to pay more but even more feels that america need to cut spending and not just defense. How come the Con Man and Chief doesn't want to bring that up?

    December 2, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. LogiK

    Go over the Cliff! Republicans can't and won't comprimise. Let taxes go up for everone- it may cause them to stroke out!

    December 2, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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