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. manning El Paso, TX

    House speaker John Boehner should be stop and remove because he has valuate the code of edtic, he is serving two masters as speaker of house of representatives and has pledge with the Tea party, He can only service in one, the house of representative speaker of US government only! He can not sever two to masters at the same time this is a conflict of interest to the US government and its citizens, it could be consider a conspiracy, he say his loyalty is to the tea party then let him stay there, because he has no loyalty to the work from the USA tax payer.

    December 2, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Phyllis G Williams

    'Our labour' gave them their wealth and now they want us to pay their bills from 'our savings' in Medicare, Social Security etc.
    Where is the conscience of all of you? See what Prophet Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 17: 11.

    December 2, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. FactsHurtLongTime

    The GOP reminds me of Apollo Creed. A world champ twice beaten by an underdog. Right now The GOP is in the beginning of Rocky III. If The GOP sucks up its pride now and realizes it needs to team up with the Democrats for the greater good of The US Citizens – then it completes Rocky III. If The GOP continues its "pride" stance and does nothing – then The GOP will go the way of Apollo Creed in Rocky IV – it will be written out of the story as a dead has-benn come 2014 in the mid-terms. A context usually helps.

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

    First things first. The negotiations are not between the republicans and the white house. Its between the membership of the congress. This spending/taxation bill is not a function of the executive branch. It's a function of the legislative. Although the WH can propose legislation, it's basically a suggestion based on what the executive branch perceives as best for the "corporation". However, it's up to the legislative branch to come to concensus and bring a bill to the WH for signing. It's about time for the media to stop spreading misinformation about how the government works. All of them are guilty of this because they want controversial nonsense and anger, that sells.

    December 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Phyllis G Williams

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    'Our labour' gave them their wealth and now they want us to pay their bills from 'our savings' in Medicare, Social Security etc.
    Where is the conscience of all of you? See what Prophet Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 17: 11.

    December 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Name

    Lets go over the cliff who cares, Obama and his administration spent 1.5 times as much as Bush did in twice the time. Go ahead raise taxes on the rich, it won't make a difference then no one will get hired.

    December 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. PhilipD

    The Republican party is responsible for this mess and yet they refuse to take action and allow the Bush era tax cuts to expire. They are delusional....

    December 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Larry L

    Boner is such a drama queen! His Tea Party House dug this hole thinking they would win the election and then give the rich folks they support a sweet deal. America said no! If the Republicans refuse to sign the bill that's already past the Senate (to keep lower rates for those under $250k) they only refuse so they can hold 95% of Americans hostage. They're willing to throw the working people under the bus to protect the fat-cats. Get those recall petitions ready!

    December 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Alone in the middle

    Where is the middle with the President's proposal. He not only wants the higher tax rates on $200K earners but also all the deductions as well. He doubled down. At this point I say go over the artificial cliff.

    December 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Rogue351

    Why appose taxing the rich? If they are now putting money back into the economy and creating jobs that people can actually survive and raise a family on then it is these people and these people alone that are responsible for the redistribution of wealth in the US. With the large salaries come a degree of responsibility like it or not. Stealing, and horading money just because it was legal at the time is not moral. And for a party that seeks out the religious moral high ground time and time again. The GOP now find themself in the position of either doi g the right thing or pandering to the 1% elite and risk going the way of the dinosaur. Extinction. Either back the majority or find yourself out of a job. Now straighten up and do your job or be relived of your job and be replace by people that have the 99% best interest in mind.

    December 2, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    Boner and the GOP put up the Romney / Ryan plan, and he's flabbergasted? America soundly rejected that diseased conservative ideology when they reelected President Obama. It's the GOP that is still refusing to compromise, and it's still the GOP who are holding up tax cuts for 98% of Americans just so they can keep the top 2% from paying a 4% increase in their taxes. This is ridiculous. America, do us all a favor, vote out every GOP elected member of Congress in 2014, they're totally unfit to hold the office, and they obviously have deep hatred for the middle-class.

    December 2, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    Boehner and the GOP put up the Romney / Ryan plan, and he's flabbergasted? America soundly rejected that diseased conservative ideology when they reelected President Obama. It's the GOP that is still refusing to compromise, and it's still the GOP who are holding up tax cuts for 98% of Americans just so they can keep the top 2% from paying a 4% increase in their taxes. This is ridiculous. America, do us all a favor, vote out every GOP elected member of Congress in 2014, they're totally unfit to hold the office, and they obviously have deep hatred for the middle-class.

    December 2, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. cloud

    We have heard the president plan what is the repub plan

    December 2, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Old White Consevative Male

    Who here think the biggest spending president is history should have total control of how the credit card limit should be?

    December 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. fastrack

    It's all posturing, 'counting coup' with voters on both sides for the next round of elections, political Viagra. They'll do what they all do best: strutting around like roosters until the week before they break for Christmas, then come to the agreement they've already decided on. That will justify the need for yet another 'vacation'.

    December 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. gregory21

    The gop screwed around for 18 months. They agreed to automatic cuts, figuring they were a shoe in for the White House, but it back fired on them. So get over it. The Press. told you what he wants and the pepole did to. Get rir of noquist and do whats right.

    December 2, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Dean

    Let tax cuts for all expire and also close loopholes and stop deductions.
    Might also want to consider spending a little less money on stupid stuff like rebuilding mosques and
    aid to North Korea.

    December 2, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Dean

    Obama, you want to raise some taxes? Raise the tax rate on profits from commodity trading to 95%

    December 2, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Derrick, Atlanta

    After what happened with the austerity measures in the Eurozone, you can't blame the administration for being sensitive to budget cuts. I feel that Obama is doing well to look out for the middle class's benefits, but unless he strikes a deal with the GOP soon, the middle class will be increasingly at risk because of the fiscal cliff.

    December 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. SFRich

    Bottom line, tax rates on those with incomes north of $250k need to increase. That was Obama's platform for re-election. He won. That will happen either as part of a fiscal cliff solution, or by default if nothing happens by December 31st.

    If the GOP House doesn't want to come out of this with the political legacy of holding out for the top 2%, they will need to play ball. The rest is just posturing.

    I suspect Boehner will not be able to get his house in order. They are too entrenched in their ideology. The governemt's credit rating will fall, the stock market will go down, everyone's retirement 401Ks and investments will lose value—all because of a the GOP joke of a congress.

    December 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Jean

    Boehner admits that the President was elected on the platform of no more big tax breaks for the rich while continuing breaks for the middle class, still he acts as though that doesn't matter! We ALL know that after more than ten years tax breaks for the wealthy got us nothing but a even MORE wealthy upper class and a shrinking middle class plus fewer jobs.. Remember what Bush said when he was relected..barely relecrted at that? That he had a mandate..he had won capital and he was going to spend that capital. Guess what Boehner, President Obama has the capital now and is going to do what the people of the US elected him to do. So BACK OFF! It's time the wealthy help pay for the blessings they have recieved from this country

    December 2, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Robot Monster

    Let the tax cuts expire! And close the military bases!

    December 2, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Dean

    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
    -----------------I would say that 90% of the 53%who voted for Obama had no earthly idea what they were really voting for. The most dangerous thing to our country is an uneducated electorate, and we surely have that.

    December 2, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Leftcoastrocky

    And I am "flabbergasted" that Boehner has not come back quickly with his own serious detailed counter-proposal.

    December 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Don

    Bonehead is what he is. We need to sweep the House and senate in 2 years and get the rest of these losers out of office. How can you make a blind pledge? Especially trying to protect the rich. Get a grip. We should just go off the cliff, which would raise the rates on the rich, and then see if the Party of Nothing and No refuses to lower taxes on the middle and lower class. That would be a classy move and the end of the GOP. Bring it on.

    December 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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