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. Jaswant

    GOP Please put your numbers on internet where every can see your proposal too. Simply "flabergasted" is not going to work. Please wake and do some soul searching. Come out with numbers.

    December 2, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. LJ

    Poor baby! Is he going to cry and throw a tantrum? His goals were rejected in the election, but he doesn't seem capable of understanding and accepting that reality.

    December 2, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Odessa

    The most important that GOP needs to learn, and maybe they are learning now: Throwing a tantrum and acting like snide children does not get you what you want.

    And I for one hope the Boehner cries. I love it when he cries.

    December 2, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Rhonda Rahn

    The GOP is the obstructionist party of NO. Let's vote the Republican bums out of the House in 2014 and 2016.

    December 2, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. uthor

    Interesting that both parties seem to spend more time talking about the other side's unacceptable proposals, rather than staying on task and working harder on a compromise. They sure take a lot of time from the negotiations to demonize the other side.

    They're obviously more interested in winning political points than doing their jobs to fix this problem (which they caused for themselves in any case).

    December 2, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. t lee

    stand your ground boehner. americans with real common sense are standing behind YA!

    December 2, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. MeanOldMan

    As the republicans said in 2010, elections have consequences. Obama won reelection by the majority of voters in the country on at least in large part on just this tax pledge. If he does anything less the republicans would turn around and say he lied to the american people. The republicans do not sreve the will of the people any longer. For all his speeches in the past about the will of the american people on this or that, he seems to be the one who doesn't listen to them. The american people have had enough of this trickle down nonsense that has never been shown to benefit anyone but the wealthy. It is time to restore some balance and fairness into our government.

    December 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. babooph

    Republicans should practice being rightous instead of endless rightous indignation-...

    December 2, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Old White Consevative Male

    House Speaker John Boehner: Ok, we'll increase revenues on the highest incomes.
    Obozo: That's not enough to cover what I want to waste raise it more. Better yet just give me the credit card.

    December 2, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. billyjoeraybob

    The ranters here need to take a deep breath and remember back to January 2007 when the Democrats assumed a majority in both the House and Senate .. And for the first full two years of Obama's first tern .. 2009 and 2010 .. the controlled the House, Senate and Oval Office .. yet despite being totally "in control", they did not fix the problems .. It was easier to blame their inability to produce anything meaningful on the Bush administration .. Obama may have had his hands somewhat tied during the first year of his first term, because majority party in the Senate and House had already passed their budget for 2009; but anything after January 2010 was totally on Obama and the Democrats .. Their failures led to the Republicans gaining control of the House in the mid-term elections (2010) .. and by the way, 53% is not an overwhelming mandate .. to me it just says a slight majority of Americans, mostly in the big cities and densely populated areas are becoming more dependent on government to prop them up .. those that work hard for a living don't want to continue to see their taxes going towards people that don't want to work and sit home all day watching Oprah and waiting for their government "entitlements" to roll in.

    December 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. America - The Nation Divided

    Reading all of the comments to this article is very entertaining. It's great to see that 4 years into the reign of Obama, his supporters are still blaming Bush. WAKE UP CALL... Obama had the ability to end the Bush tax cuts at any time, but he chose to extend them...even expanded a few of them. I encourage you to take out a history book and revisit the Clinton administration's Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the role that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs...Fannie and Freddieu) played in the housing market. It was with the CRA that the blueprint was set that would ultimately pave the way to the real estate crash.

    I would argue that both parties, Democrats and Republican, have done a poor job setting appropriate long term policies for this nation. We now have the most divisive administration in place that this country has ever seen. I never thought I would see the day when success and achievement were attacked by a "ruling" party. This country is quickly moving toward a level of mediocrity...

    I hope there is no agreement reached regarding the Fiscal Cliff. An automatic tax increase will occur...and automatic spending cuts will take place. We need BOTH tax increases and reduction in spending in order to begin the process of reducing this country's debt.

    WE ALL SACRIFICE SOMETHING! Whether it's time with family, time with friends, vacations, weekends off, starting a family....we all make sacrifices. I routinely work 80 hour work weeks. A simple assumption is that I will earn 2x more than a colleague working 40 hours a week. I am sacrificing My Free Time...while my colleague spends more time with friends and family, traveling, playing golf, etc. Is it fair that I pay more taxes than my colleague? Sure. Is it fair that I am demonized for my hard work and forced to pay progressively more taxes...probably not.

    We need to put educated, fiscally and social responsible independents into office. Removing the long-standing congress members who are stuck in their ways (from both parties). Democrats need to tighten the purse strings and the Republicans need to soften some of their social ideologies.

    My one wish is that everyone quit pointing fingers... Buck up... And start taking care of themselves and their families. As Americans we will bond together, help each other out and eventually get back to prosperous times.

    December 2, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Mike Wells

    Oust the Republican Buffoons in Congress and replace them with cheaper ones that work for all the people and not just the upper 2%. Our Government was meant to be for the "people" and not for businesses, special interests or anything else other than the building blocks of our society. Being blackmailed into doing what these Republicans want is a crime!

    December 2, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. hilreal

    Thew GOP wants it to fail so they can poinrt their fingers are BO and say, nah, nah it was ll your fault this happened.

    December 2, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    Your ideas and your strategies have been REJECTED, Bonehead. Rejected by not only the American people, but by the President, and the majority of representatives who have been opposing them for the past 4 years, but also the majority of the American electorate. You are an abject failure! And a bonehead! The sooner you sober up and admit it, the sooner America can get on with its business of repairing the economy that your party, the Republicans, and George W. Bush crashed! You need to step aside and follow the majority on this one, not just your extremist tea baggers and corporate self interests. Sober up, man. Get with it!

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

    If Boehner is still capable of flabbergastration at this administration after four years, then we need to replace him with someone a little more worldly and cynical, 'cause "good faith" negotiation is wasted on the Chicago Mob.

    December 2, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. shoos

    Boehner you are not serious. Obviously the Bush era tax breaks are not on the table. Move past them because one way or another, it will pass, whether you sign a new budget before next year or not. It's not a negotiable item. I'm not sure why you can't see this isn't a bluff. I'm resigned to the fact that the Republican house is a do less than nothing house and Boehner should be replaced, his leadership is questionable, his filibuster tactics are despicable, his meddling in the Senate rules is none of his business. He's worried about everything but the big economic issue that is messing with my 401K. He needs to be voted out. Obviously this will pass in a slash and crash fashion and it should have Boehner's name around it's neck. President Obama made this his platform, and the majority of the population, agreed. Our democracy did make a statement. We want controlled reductions, not Republican imposed tax hikes, that will take effect next year.

    December 2, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Well, I am flabbergasted at Boehner's lack of ethics, responsibility and respect for this voters and his office. He contiunes to ignore reality and to work for the 1%.

    December 2, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. mike d

    Boehner needs to sign or he should go over the cliff!!!

    December 2, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Bill

    He wants Obama to compromise....I'd be willing to bet that if the GOP would agree to allow taxes on the wealthy to expire that Obama would be much more willing to accept most anything the GOP wants cut...But as long as Boner and his pals refuse to allows taxes on the wealthy to expire then of course Obama isn't going to compromise....

    December 2, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. WS

    Far far away in a kingdom where the rich did not pay taxes, a fairy came and transformed a frog to become the one to fight injustices. The frog became president of the kingdom, even without a passport and birth certificate. The rich cry and try for many ways to obstruct what the frog said. On the first day of the new year everybody started paying taxes (by default) and all the citizen in the far away kingdom lived happy ever after. Amen.

    December 2, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. Susie

    Dems seem to be ignoring the fact that all the Republicans also won their respective elections as well. We need to cut costs period. we cant continue to increase taxes, because everytime we do the democrats spend even more. Time to let the fiscal cliff come.

    December 2, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Frank Morton

    All tax breaks for outsourcing should be stopped now. Also, our big public owned corporations should be forced to pay our minimum wages wherever they go. This would show a little regard for workers and bring back many jobs. Instead our big corporations get special treaties and tax breaks to outsource for slave labor. Also, the capital gains tax, where most giant fortunes are made off this slave labor is only 15%. This is insane, unless you are a wall street billionaire with no values.

    December 2, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Terry Blakemore

    can't hardly stand to read any of this, it is simple congress works for the people and the people want compromise, the two groups facing off should be one group working for the good of our country.

    December 2, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. pikerover

    I have figured it out .... Boehner is doing the talking but Norquist is telling him what to say.

    December 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. gregory21

    I hope we go over the cliff. Then the Press. gets what he wants anyway and then in two years the Dems will have both houses and get to do what ever they want.

    December 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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