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. Alan

    too funny.....games up GOP..you lost, you suck and the American public hate you

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

    Maybe Boehner is flabbergasted that he and other rich repubs may have to pay some taxes in the future.

    December 2, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Dino

    The tax increase on the 2% is pocket change to them. They admit themselves that it won't have great impact on the deficit. Yet it is still more valuable to them than that we might think because, after losing the election and having to accept Obamacare, it will be one of Republicans last cards to play for awhile.

    Boehner needs to hurry up and get done being flabbergasted so they can move on to the argument about Obama's entitlement cuts not being enough or whatever their comeback is. Get this done and over with

    December 2, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. jasonTN

    All these comments just make me sick. Raise taxes on the top 2% to 75% and we are still going to be screwed because you democratic retards won't quit giving away and spending money. You won the election because you did job of organizing your "tit suckers" to vote. Once America is completely broke these are the same people who will be looting and rioting for their handout.

    December 2, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Observer

    It doesn't take much to flabbergast Boehner and make him cry.

    December 2, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. FactCheck

    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.
    ------

    Were you brain dead from 2000-2008 or too busy burning crosses to pay notice?

    December 2, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. smallmouth6

    Don't have a lot but about to move my 401K into a safety zone. Never done it before, but until this Republican Congress is defeated, we Middle and Lower Class folks will also get the shaft--some of you deserve it.

    December 2, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. jhawk865

    A great many republicans in congress would be willing to allow higher tax revenues from the "rich". However, I think what many of them are flabbergasted with is that the WH put $1.6 billion of new tax revenues (over 10 years) on the table and basically said lets figured out the cost cuts later. That type of proposal should not be acceptable to anyone who wants this country out of its serious debt problem. Just take a look at the numbers: The proposal raises an average of $160 million per year. We have had a budget deficit of over $1 trillion per year for the last four years. I'm not blaming our President for that, its just an indisputable fact. So taxing the rich solves less than 20% of the problem. How are we going to solve the other 80% unless somebody gets serious about cutting costs?

    December 2, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    Why does everyone want other people's stuff?
    ---–

    Ask the billionaries whose corporate lifestyles are being supported by taxes to the middle class.

    December 2, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. ardale

    The republicans are secretly plotting to go over the "cliff". They can then point the finger at Obama for the collateral damage it does to the economy and financial markets while they get significant reduction in federal spending and a tax raise without having to vote for either one.

    December 2, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Lenny Pincus

    Yeah, how dare Obama dare to do what he said he would do–oh, and that America elected him to do.

    December 2, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Lone wolf

    Did anyone really expect the Bone-her bunch to stop be obstructionist! The right got their butts handed to them in the Presidential election and they still don't get it. This group would rather our economy totally flop instead of doing the right thing. It is the American people who are flabbergasted by a party of hate mongers, the party of no, the Republican Party.

    December 2, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. n8r0n

    Maybe it's time for us to start picking leaders who aren't crusty old curmudgeons who still think smoking and fake tanning is a good idea, and who use words like "flabbergasted".

    This country lets itself be lead by these corrupt old relics. It's sad.

    December 2, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. joe

    Let all the cuts expire. Everyone seems to hate the bush takes cuts. You can't fight to keep 98% of something and claim you hate it.

    December 2, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. paul

    what a clown.....thats all I can say--a total clown-but then again, both sides of the aisle have MANY clowns-–and some of you poor naive souls thought things would change after the election....PFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!

    December 2, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Joe

    I see where this thread stands and it's great that Obama won. Why does he continue doing town hall meetings? It's because he is most successful at talking and that's it. Has he really met with both parties? No. Just a phone call or two. He does'nt want to negotiate but dictate. So you expect everyone in congress to go along with the Obama intial offer. He asked for the moon and needs to come down to earth. The tax increases are fine in my book but we need to trim some of the fat. What is wrong with that? You can't expect higher taxes and a continued reckless spending policy and racking up even more debt. Does the number 16 trillion mean anything to you?!? I for one am sick of spending on stupid projects like 'the migratory mating of the spotted fuzzy swallow bird'. Let's get started with the flame throwers...

    December 2, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. gee

    Boehner led republicans just can't get over the President is not a WASP.

    December 2, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Burn it down. Let ALL the bush tax cuts expire. Takers need to contribute too.

    December 2, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. shyam

    How to get to Boehner's office? blast some emails? So, he thinks he knows better than what the voters want?

    December 2, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. dan1943

    When are the Republicans going to realize that they are responsible to the majority of Anerixans, not to just the wealthy 10%?

    December 2, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Poor baby! Is he going to cry and throw a tantrum when he doesn't get his way? His ideas were rejected in the election, but he can't seem to understand that.

    December 2, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. Jim g

    John, your side lost the election with your position as it's platform. You need to realize you lost this election because of this position. The American people have spoken and if you do not listen, you will lose the next mid-term elections as well. It is time to wake up to the facts and begin negotiating and thinking of the American people and not Nordquist or the Republican party. You can be replaced, and you have showed no leadership ability in your years as leader. If you retirement was based on your leadership you would go hungry.

    December 2, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. snowdogg

    The GOP just isn't going to let it happen. The average American be d a m n e d !

    December 2, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Peter Vaguely

    Just more red meat for the Faux News crowd. I like the use of the word "flabbergasted" because it is both strong and vague. He is certainly not "surprised" or "perplexed" or even "dumbfounded" because he knew where Obama had said he would go and the voting public agreed with him. I would not be surprised to hear the Speaker use the word "flummoxed" before he is finally forced to cave. Lindsey Graham might be "perplexed" as well this week. HA!

    December 2, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Poor baby! Is he going to cry and throw a tantrum? His ideas were rejected in the election, but he doesn't seem capable of realizing or accepting it, which is very immature.

    December 2, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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