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. needNewGov

    What these guys need to do is negotiate in private, come up with a way to make it work and then tell the public. This posturing in the public media is ridiculous. Take away the politics and get it done.

    December 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Big Rob

    Boehner is a clown! Unfortunately he isn't the funny kind!

    December 2, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. BADGUY

    I think we should ALL "chip in" to fix this deficit. I think we should LET the Bush tax cuts expire for ALL citizens. We SOMEHOW "survived" under these tax rates when Clinton was President. The Bush tax cuts were SUPPOSED to be "temporary" ANYWAY. We MUST cut back on military spending...BUT... ONLY VERY LIMITED cuts should be made to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Too many of our fellow citizens depend on these programs just to exist!

    December 2, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. gop

    The g.o.p is not the problem here. the democrats are the problem with their 1 trillion dollar a year deficits and wanting even more tax money to spend.

    December 2, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Yolie Scott

    For ten years the Republicans have had their way and its always the same old rhetoric – if you raise the taxes on the rich, it will affect the jobs situation. What jobs – no jobs have been created by the rich Republicans. Boehner must be scared, he won't be able to afford his tanning booth, his alcohol, buying his cigarettes and playing golf.

    December 2, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. MoeJoe

    This requires LEADERSHIP, not delegation. The President needs to stop playing golf, postpone his Hawaiian vacation until after the 1st of the year, and sit down with Republicans. His election was NOT a mandate; he won a majority of the votes. Reagan won a MANDATE when he won 49 of 50 and 44 of 50 states. THOSE elections were mandates. The remainder of Congress held their majorities.

    A community organizer assigns minions to tasks...something he has done for the last 4 years. It's time for him to actually show these 'mad-leadership-skills' he surely must possess. Or at least he claims to have them.

    December 2, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Etienne

    2% holding the rest hostage. Time for another French Revolution.

    December 2, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. mike

    I find it funny that people think making 250,000 is rich. If you live in New York? Not so much. This President has continued to act as if he won 80% of the vote. Half the country is against you! That would mean compromise, not mandate!

    December 2, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. honest marie

    John Boehner America and Americans are tired of you catering to your extreme right ideology rather than catering to America. Listen to America and work with Our President for the good of all Americans not that of a handful that you and Lindsay Graham are leading. Listen to the voice reason even of those in your party. Remember the president won the election and the people of America want you to find a middle ground fair enough for the majority and find solutions to her problems. Do what is right for America not that of a few who bankroll your elections. Lindsay Graham America is watching as you pronounce doom everyday upon her rather than positively work with the other side of the isle inorder to solve her problems. Even at this time of giving you do not want to give America your best gift, like working honestly and selflessly for her.

    December 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. lovespandas

    I am "flabergasted" (though not really) that all the dems want to demonize Speaker Boener. I suggest you all find oyt exactly just what obama offered! Lies, yet again. It is NO SURPRISE that a deal hasn't been made. All obama wants to do is spend more and more and print even more.

    December 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. xylene

    flabbergasted is a bit rich. We have to close trillions of dollars of debt. The DEMS have a plan; the GOP has no plan. For gods sake, get real.

    December 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. john

    How exiting, seeing the republicans fall into obscurity in my lifetime, it don't get any better than this.

    December 2, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Teresa

    Why should he be flabbergasted? This is exactly what President Obama ran on and what the people voted for. Did he expect the president to turn around and 'flip -flop" on all his previous statements. The American people have made it very clear that they are tired of this ridiculous republican game playing.

    December 2, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Mike Buck

    Boner wasn't so flabbergasted when his buddy BUSH declared a MANDATE in 04 with a much more narrow margin of victory and then continued us down the path of warmongering and financial rewards for the rich.

    December 2, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  15. redbug

    boehner and the rest of the rethugs have not learned a thing. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN! And did remember 2000-2008. That is why we voted for PRESIDENT OBAMA AGAIN! And we will remember on 2014.

    December 2, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Frank

    Get it through your head, Boehner: THE RICH NEED TO START PAYING TAXES. What part of that do you want to try to ignore?

    December 2, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. richard

    > Let the tax cuts expire! And close the military bases!
    especially in all southern states since they dont seem to understand
    the linkage between taxes and living off the dole.

    December 2, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. Larry L

    @mike Lake Orion Michigan

    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. He is hell bent on bringing this economy to a halt!
    ========================================================================================
    You might think back to the President who got us into this recession – Bush! It was his two unfunded wars, cut & spend economy, and the fast & loose attitude towards the financial district that pushed us out of a booming Clinton economy. It was the Republican Party who obstructed all progress for the last four years including the Tea Party pledges that started the whole "fiscal cliff" fiasco. You people need to start learning to man-up for your behavior while the Republican Party is still in existence.

    December 2, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. popeye1128

    Boehner and Romney suffer from the problem. Failure to accept reality.

    December 2, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Mark Taylor

    Republicans hold the house only through re-drawing district lines. You look at a state like Indiana for example. The districts are just ridiculous shapes all geared toward slicing up the urban areas.

    December 2, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. carly

    Boehner and the other good old boys of the right should get ready to pack up and go home because if they don't give this time they will all be out in 2014/16.

    December 2, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. eleanor

    Surely there are many other items in the budget that could be cut with little or no pain to the majority of people. It is only because social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are so important to so many that Republican target them for such idiot ideas as vouchers and privitization, which have clear history of being losers for the majority but favorites of the profiteers. There are probably many invisible bureaus and pockets of power that do nothing but collect tax subsidies that benefit the few. Military spending is like an anaplastic growth that is swallowing up the whole country. Funny how Speaker Boehner never talks of reigning that in but is apparently happy to let our banner keep waving far far away accomplishing little of lasting value at great cost..

    December 2, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    The HIGHER the marginal federal maximum tax rates the MORE likely that a small business owner, such as myself will choose to invest in employees and capital equipment rather than take extra income/bonus on year-end projected earnings......the goal is of course to reduce taxes in the most benefiicial way....Higher tax rates would be MORE STIMULATIVE for the economy be channeling year end decisions toward employees and capital equipment.....by far the best thing for our economy.

    December 2, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Linsday Brighton

    I'm flabbergasted that John Boner would be flabbergasted that the American people elected Obama knowing full well that he wanted the rich to pay a little more in taxes. So – here we go again. Do we just need to wait till 2016 to have the Republican Party wiped off the face of the USA??????

    December 2, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Li

    Boehner says: "But the president's idea of a negotiation is, 'Roll over and do what I ask,'"

    Wonder where he got that idea? Maybe the GOP should have set a better example.

    December 2, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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