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. MightyMoo

    Well if the GOP isn't going to work with the Democrats and they got a plan then I guess we get long term benefit from the fiscal stair case instead of a deal and it's taxes going up for everyone as well as spending cuts across the board. Great for the country, lousy for the short term. Still it's good medicine for America no matter how bitter it is in the short term.

    December 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Mary1972

    I am flabbergasted that GOP thought the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich are forever. Let us make sure they are flabbergasted in 2014 if they continue this trend.

    December 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Bart

    People need to look into the history of the "fiscal cliff". It originated last Christmas when there was a bipartisan tax cut deal all ready to be voted on, it was going to pass. Then, out of nowhere, some Repubs decided it was a good idea to attach their corporate welfare oil pipeline to the bill. The whole deal fell apart becaue of that pipeline being shoved in. Then a new deal was made that called for a commitee to decide upon cuts and taxes or automatic taxes and cuts would come about. Since the commiteefailed to agree the automatic taxes and cuts will take affect and that is the fiscal cliff.

    The whole thing is thanks to a few Repubs who wanted to give more money to the oil companies who are already drowining in government money.

    December 2, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. bill dixon

    "made a serious proposal by putting revenues up there"..said bohner to fox news.??? "Putting revenues up there" What the hell does that mean, anyway. They have made a proposal, he says, but that is a lie. ¨The only proposal was made a few days ago by the white house and demos in the senate.

    You repubs bohner are such liars and distorters. I wonder how any sane, reasonably educated person can read your vague, lying statements and take them seriously. Go ahead and damage the country further, you pack of elitist jerks.

    December 2, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Kdawg

    Boehner is a joke.

    December 2, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Marlene the Dream

    Dean & Robot Monster – You are both so right. I'm flabbergasted that Boehner says he's flabbergasted . . . nothing has changed in what Obama has said for many months. Where are all the jobs that those "temporary" Bush tax cuts are supposed to have created? God, I can't wait for the 2014 midterm elections so we can flip all those obstructionists out of the House and the Republicans will no longer hold that majority that Boehner touts and is so smug about. Make sure you're ready to vote in 2014 ! !

    December 2, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. roachstaugustine

    We need to increase taxes. But, it would be far better to lean out deductions at the current rates to raise more revenue.
    But, nothing will work without cutting spending. That also includes the entitlements as in Social Security and Medicare,etc.
    2/3 general welfare spending does not go to poor people. The poverty rates have changed little since the Great Society Programs were started. Meanwhile rent etc as a percent of wages has been rising. Medical care and education has been rising far faster than inflation. There are more homeless. All this points to the failure and waste in our entitlements.

    December 2, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Goat

    Off the "cliff" we go.

    December 2, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. TXJew

    Bottom, bottom line: The 250,000> tax rate will be restored. Nada the GOP can do about it. All they can do is extend the lower rates from under that. And 1.6 trillion in ^ revenues? Stop whining and make a counter offer. You know he will give in to the old 1.2 trillions. See if you can squeeze out some entitlement reform – give up higher-earner deductions for a higher age for SS. Bargain, don't posture.

    December 2, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. davetharave

    Boehner – Why should they take you seriously ? You lost the election ! You and all the other Republicans better listen to Geithner and get going on that middle class tax cut, and that upper 2% cut has to go !

    December 2, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. fernace

    Why is it so difficult to let W's taxcuts for people making a quarter mil & more expire? Many have said they Don't Mind paying more if it means getting us back on track! But it's also about cutting SS, Medicare & putting ACA on the chopping block! That wont happen, because Americans, We, The People have spoken! Obama is out there talking to us right now, getting our input, what is the GOT-Party doing!? Nothing but the same thing they've been doing since he took office in '09; obstruction, gnashing of teeth & wringing of hands & quite a bit of tears & hair pulling (for those who have it)! Obama stands w/the people of this nation, why don't y'all!? All this talk about being fiscally conservative & being more inclusive means nothing unless the GOT-Party gives up a) the T in your party, b) prove your the fiscal conservatives, which recent history disproves, c) BE inclusive, don't just pay lip service! I think Americans realize that we do have some power over our future w/this last election & we plan to keep it!!

    December 2, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. blf83

    Boehner is the flab at which we are agasted. Mr. Boehner, you and your party got us into this mess. Move from your uncompromising, ill-advised position. We, the people, want cooperation, teamwork and a sense of the common good. Move your position or we will vote more Republicans out of office.

    December 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. dwolf

    Yes, we all understand the talking points. Democrats want to protect the safety net and raise taxes on high income earners and Republicans want to cut spending and not raise taxes. This is exactly where we've been for the last two years plus. At what point is somebody going to actually explain to the American people the fiscal situation of government? The President (and Congress' leadership) should speak to the country using real numbers and pie charts and showing how much the money the government gets, where its' coming from, and how the money is being spent. (At least in enough detail to understand the general picture.) Both sides should explain what the various proposals would mean in terms of spending, effects on people and programs and how closely their proposal would get us back to a sustainable fiscal condition. They owe us some level of education about the reality of situation. We've got to stop being a nation of morons with a leadership that speaks to us like we're morons!! Ack!

    December 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. R L Smith

    "They won the election, (but) they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold the majority in the House"? Drawing your own line in the sand? Reeks of a veiled threat. Keep this crap up and we won't have to be concerned with who holds the House majority in 2014.

    December 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. cee-man

    Boehner, you lost. (And the president won your state).

    So get over it and sign the deal.

    Or the GOP will continue its slide into irrelevancy.

    December 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. .

    Is he going to cry? I hate it when he cries.

    December 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. s.j.p. john

    Fiscal cliff is not the end of world or (economy). Back to Clinton era taxes and increase the capital spending would kick start the economy. Tax the corporate on the world income and plug the loop holes (tax credits). President should not compromise with GOP.

    December 2, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. jolivier23

    Just because he won with barely 50% of the vote, doesn't give Obama license to implement his policies without compromise. Since when is 250K rich? That is ridiculous. These idiots in Washington need to stop talking in public and sit down and sort this out in a room. Taking every one of these discussions to the world of twitter is further dividing this country.

    December 2, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. joejeffrey

    Right. Flabbergasted that Obama meant what he said. Flabbergasted that the GOP will have to actually compromise, not just sound like they are. Flabbergasted that he can't grovel at the feet of King Norquist. Maybe "gob-smacked by the real world" might be more accurate.

    December 2, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. jordans

    No flabergasted that Boehner fails to present anything but rejects out of hand what is presented to him. Nothing new here, same old hard heads that all need to be removed and replaced by patriots who want to do what they were hired to do. WORK and make it happen. If Boehner considers himself reasonable compared to his cohorts we need all Reps out of the house. No republican concern for 98% so sad. Keep on protecting your PACs who I expect will continue to fund you.

    December 2, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. x

    Someone get Boehner some pampers and a rattle.

    December 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. dlh

    Just read Fox article. According to Fox, Geithner's proposal allows the President to raise the debt ceiling w/o congressional approval. That's not only outrageous, it's unconstitutional. Congress has the authority to authorize money, not the President.

    December 2, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. zandhcats

    The gap between superrich and poor are growing, without raising the tax rate to the 400 superrich and continue let them control both economy and Washington, I don't see the light ahead in the future. Let's jump to the cliff together on 1/1/2013!

    December 2, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. badcyclist

    Boehner is such a tool. And he is going down on this one.

    December 2, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Newtonslaw

    All through his campaign Obama said he was going to do this. Now, boehner says he's "flabbergasted"? About what? Hasn't he been listening? When he was told that the sun comes up every morning , I heard he was "Stunned"!

    December 2, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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