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. Dave - Phx

    Keep it up Boehner, keep supporting the rich and go down with the Republican ship. Another election in two years, lots of people up for re-election in congress.

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

    The Republicans should go over the cliff – raise taxes on everyone. And also eliminate all tax deductions, including mortgage deduction, child tax credit, state taxes, municipal bond exemption, employer-paid health care deduction, etc. My tax return should fit on one page, with 12-point font.

    December 2, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Jan

    The Republicans are afraid of their master Grover Norquist.

    December 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Dave

    "We've put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there " ............and what exactly does this mean? They won't say, they have no offer just a response, which is no to anything Obama proposes. This lost them the presidential election haven't they learned. Why don't the republicons listen to the american people?

    December 2, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. sbssue1

    Truthfully, I hope you all get what you asked for on November 6. You asked and HE should deliver........I hope you all are financially sound so you will get through this next four years. I say TAX them all as much as you can, spend the money and let the people pick up the pieces. I doubt anyone will be able to fix the problem after the next four years......it will be too late then........ All you've done on here is bad mouth Boehner and yet not one of you suggested a good solution to the problem.....think if you all were in DC making decisions. LOL

    December 2, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. demrules

    He's flabbergasted because in the GOP playbook, which included a President Mitt Romney, would have been as easy as "bought and paid for"! President Obama has the "balls" to say no and can give a crap about GOP politics. Boehner should just get over himself and his lack of ability to rally the GOP, and recognize that the American people come first- or he will not be re-elected during the midterms!

    December 2, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Ken

    It is because Boehner is proposing a no go solution, why is he surprised? I had been contributing to SS and Medicare. I DO NOT WANT THE ELIGIBILITY AGE RAISE TO 67 !!!. Cut the Medicaid and Disability if you have too, since people do abuse that system but do that raise the age for Medicare. Not everybody is blessed to live till 80!!

    Stop giving benefits to those who never put money to SS and eliminate SSI.

    December 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. DMJ

    Republicans held onto the house, but gerrymandering had more to do with that than GOP appeal. Boehner knows that. Obama made expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the top 2% a key part of his campaign and won. Boehner knows that, too. If Boehner lets sequetration happen, all the Bush tax cuts expire. If he agrees to Geitner's proposal, only the top 2% lose the cuts. He made this "flabbergasted" comment on Fox, and what else can he say there. He's between a rock and a hard place. He has to posture... but he has to concede this at some point, too. If he doesn't know that he's a lousy politician, and most house speakers are not lousy politicians. He's just buying time to see if he can get something that saves the Republicans some face.

    December 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Randy Stewart

    I hope that Obama does not give up an inch. If I have to pay more taxes, at least I know that the wealthy have to join me.

    December 2, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. steve-0

    It's honorable how many middle class Republicans will give their lives so rich people can have historic low tax rates. I am sure these rich people will return the favor and send these same republicans children to die overseas in some stupid war.

    December 2, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Dennis

    Boehner loves to whine in between his crying bouts.Times have changed,but not for the GOP and Tea Party misfits.

    December 2, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. CPA in DC

    hey riddle me this? whats 2% of 6 billion dollars. answer = 120 billion. now i know dems dont do math. but thats the INTEREST thats going to be paid every year forever JUST on the debt from obama's first 4 years. now how much revenue will raising taxes on the rich generate? 80 billion a year. so obamas tax increase doesnt cover the interest on obama (only obamas) debt. nice. so no new nothing. no more healthcare, no more army bases, no new nothing. but spending and debts not the problem . and we'd get downgraded if we didnt raise taxes, uh huh. you know what would bring a downgrade fastest: give obama what he wants, unrestrained deficit spending AND higher taxes, AND lower growth. the GOP should give it to him; let it burn. all his. come on boehner, cave already. end the obama charade. let him crash it now.

    December 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. musician

    Boehner is flabbergasted that Obama is trying to implement the policies he campaigned and won on. He`s in disbelief that Obama would try to raise taxes on the rich, though a vast majority, by every poll done in the last several years, are in favor of doing so. So... either Obama is really out of touch with reality and the average American, or Boehner is. You decide.

    December 2, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Lola

    Let all tax rates increase. If Obama won a mandate, then Americans want a super-sized government. Big government is financed with high taxes on EVERYBODY.

    December 2, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Alfred E. Neuman

    Obama needs to stand his ground. There is no reason to compromise with the GOP. The Republicans have no option except to accede to the president. Taxes are going up for everyone on Jan. 1. So Mr. Speaker what are you going to do? We've tried the Bush tax cut approach. If the people getting these massive breaks are job creators where are the jobs? It didn't work so start doing something to fix the real problems facing the country.

    Boehner knows he doesn't have the votes and Cantor is constantly nipping at his heels. All the poor thing can do is whine about the lack of progress. Boehner is going to leave a legacy of the one of the worst Speaker's in history.

    December 2, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. DrPiz

    I want the Republicans to give Obama everything he wants as a Christmas present. America will really see what he is all about when the economy goes down the tubes and we get closer and closer to socialism. The Republicans are playing right into his hands why? If the Republicans refuse to agree with Obama then they are to blame for anything that happens. So give him 100% and lets get on with it and see is how good Obama is. If he is successful I will be the first to congratulate him on his accomplishments.

    December 2, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    cee-man- Boehner WON with a huge majority of the vote in Ohio and is doing what the voters in HIS district want.

    December 2, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. rajpals

    We should have a million people march to D.C. I can't believe what the government is doing to us. Why didn't they do something about this last year? They keep talking about talking points on Libya. There are troops getting killed everyday, do they say how and why they are dying? Now they want to stop my unemployment extension. Just today Pentagon is ordering $40 Billion dollars worth of planes. Let's cut defense and close military bases.

    December 2, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. John

    John Boehner didn't learn anything In this last election, and he Till don't listen to what the American people are saying . That the top 2% of BUSH tax cuts have to go. It Isn't that you are rising taxes, these are Bush tax cuts that was never met to last forever. So really you are not broking Grover Norquist tax pledge you Republican have sigh. That really you Republican shouldn't have sigh any pledge,because you all ready took a OATH.

    December 2, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. MikeinMN

    We need to go off the cliff and let the tax cuts automatically expire. At that point the 2 parties can start negotiations, after taxes have gone back up, AUTOMATICALLY!

    December 2, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. TownC

    Whose fault will it be if we go over the cliff and the economy goes into recession? It will be the President and the Congress. Ultimately though the leader must take responsibility. Yes, the president will bear the lions share of the responsibility. However, whoever is at fault it is all of us who will suffer. People keep saying the president won the election so he should get what he wants, but the Republican Congress also won, so shouldn't they get what they want?

    December 2, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. TYRANNASAUR

    "Right now I would say we're nowhere. Period. We're nowhere. .............

    Republicans are always nowhere.....what's Boehner's problem....he should be use to it by now....the idiot.

    December 2, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Jules

    What is the plan he put out there? I haven't seen it – but maybe I'm not looking in the right places. My guess is that the people won't like their plan so they don't want to make it public.

    December 2, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Dude

    Grover Norquist,

    Last year, as your Republican lapdogs did your bidding under the pretext of "Doing what the American people wanted", survey after survey said that ~70% of Americans wanted to let the Bush tax cuts on the top 2% expire. That included a small majority of registered Republicans.

    Now your pledge signers are jumping through one loophole after another to get away from you. Those who can find no suitable loophole are just leaving.

    Your power to sway elections is now far out-shadowed by the American people.

    Also, your mom called to say you are adopted and your dog has run away.
    Your 15 minutes are up.
    You are irrelevant.
    Bye.

    December 2, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. ugh

    House has more power than the Whitehouse – or have you forgotten Obama. You are only President, and a weak one at that. Act Presidential, I know it is hard for you to do – but Americans need you to!!!!

    December 2, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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