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. Wellywellup

    Flabbergasted ? Who says that? When was the last time someone turned to you and said "I am flabbergasted"?

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

    We are going to vote every stinking repucitian out of office, they think that they can sign a plegde to a frecking lobbiest who only cares about protecting the money of the very rich and not serve the people who elected them they think they can get away with serving 2% over the 98% we need to vote everyone of these complete losers out I hope they read these posts because this exactly what is going to happen

    December 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. john

    Dear Beohner, Your only support comes from the Taliban fringe. The average american thinks you should go away. Please do, you are hurting the country

    December 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. txan

    The Orange Man is flabbergasted. The voters are disgusted and the Republicans will pay dearly in 2014.

    December 2, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Pat in IL

    Boehner needs to listen to himself sometimes. He is coming off as the village idiot who does not understand the first thing about a checkbook! His refusal to even listen to any proposals and to put forth any proposals that are actually effective makes him look more than ridiculous.

    December 2, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Sandy

    Boehner, Graham, Ayotte, and the rest of the GOP are the joke. These dirtbags just don't get it. They talk about revenues being on the table, but what they have to put on the table is the increase in the tax rate for the rich. Not just closing loopholes, etc. Real money, honey. Increase the rates. Obama is only talking about something like 3% increase, as they were in the Clinton era, and 40% BELOW what they were in the Eisenhower era. As usual, Boehner is playing hide the ball and figuring he can get away with it. Not this time, greaseball. If we go over the cliff, it's on you and your trogoladyte pals in the GOP. He is doing the same thing he did in 2011. A deal is real simple. Back down on the tax rate, and you'll get a deal. Otherwise, everyone from Wall Street to Main Street will be looking at you.

    December 2, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. Jim

    Although I am not a fan of Boehner or a Repub by ANY means, Obama is overplaying his hand.

    Obama got re-elected.

    House Republicans got re-elected just as well.

    Obama unfortunately has (post-election of course) demanded $1.6 T in new taxes when his original (pre-election) proposal was for about $ 1T. He wants to move the fences and get more.

    Of course, none of the new taxes go to actual deficit reduction under Obama's demand – he uses most of it for more "stimulus" which as we have all seen, doesn't work AND drives up the debt even further.

    Of course Obama's media like CNN refuse to talk about Obama's dirty dealing. Just imagine if it was a Republican POTUS reneging on his proposal like that...

    December 2, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. tpobrienjr

    This reminds me of the trial lawyer's tactic of "trying the case in the press". Why in the hell can't they look each other in the eye? Is it because a liar can spot a lie? I don't really care how they get to a compromise, but they had better do it, or we'll have to have a House-and-Senate-cleaning. I am fed up with these incompetent showboaters – on both sides.

    December 2, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Doug in PA

    @laura he has only been speaker for 2 years. before that it was nancy pelosi and a democrat supermajority in the house and senate. what did they do with the first two years of obamas rule? nothing. so stop blaming the republicans. even when the dems had total control they didn't fix anything. in fact they sucked major cash out of the system, tripled the debt and bailed out their big banker buddies.

    December 2, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Indiana

    I looked up the definition of flabbergasted. It should be reserved for use by the House majority.

    December 2, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Dave A

    Take repubes seriously?? The "flat earth people", ?? 0mg! I just peed myself

    December 2, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. RCR

    As one of the 1%, through income realized in a small business LLC, I think it's fine to let the rates go up. We have already moved money, cut employees hours, plan to hire consultants to avoid healthcare costs that come w/FTEs, and have already moved manufacturing to Mexico – effectively cutting our costs by more than half. It's a global economy and many of us can and will leave. The only real victims are those businesses without the options that many of us have.

    Regardless, if Obama gets his way and raises rates, even if they realize the full 'revenues' from tax hikes (which they won't) that they anticipate it will only fund the government for 9 days. Then what?

    December 2, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Lord Abbett

    Unfortunately, just like your household budget, you can not spend more then you bring in without consequences.

    Why do we think our government is any different.

    You can tax the top 1% 100% and that still won't put a dent in the deficit.

    I hope Washington, lead by President Obama, practices, forbearance, reconciliation, and compromise in reaching dramatic spending cuts and increasing revenue.

    We need leadership now; not rhetoric, posturing, or lines drawn in the sand.

    December 2, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Rob S

    More games: "They won the election, (but) they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold the majority in the House." That can and will change in 2014 if the GOP keeps defying the will of a clear majority of US voters. Then, maybe our government can get something done. In the meantime, let all the tax rates expire and automatic tax cuts kick in to decrease deficits. We were much better with Clinton's formula, higher taxes, lower employment and a balanced budget, with surplus.

    December 2, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. Wanderin' Star

    When we had a job,we had to earn our money to keep our jobs. What is happenning now? Can't we get closer to a solution on this so called fiscal cliff? Our senate and house seem not to be earning their wages.It's always the same old story. The American public is not getting much bang for their bucks when it comes to running the country.

    December 2, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Mike

    If tax cuts for the rich were so helpful for the economy, the 10 year experiment of the Bush tax cuts should have resulted in a buzzing economy. We all know what we got. The top 2% are not "job creators", they are "wealth hoarders". That's not just a label, that is backed up by the numbers and the significant change in distribution of wealth toward the rich during the Bush "experiment".

    I'm not saying it's the fault of the 2%. I would do the same if I were there. It is simply a natural outcome of the tax structure and other advantages built into our economic system. We need to re-configure the tax structure to encourage more wealth to be created (not "redistributed) among the middle class.

    When the middle class is strong, the economy will be humming.
    When the rich are strong and everyone else is struggling, the economy stagnates.
    The focus of our investment should always be on building a robust middle class, not a wealthier upper class

    December 2, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. NukeTim

    Today he's flabbergasted.

    Fingers crossed that soon he'll be unemployed.

    That'll give him something to cry about....

    December 2, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. NukeTim

    Tears. I wanna see some crocodile tears....

    December 2, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. tallulah13

    The one good thing that you can say about Boehner is that he in unambiguous about how little he cares for the welfare of the nation as a whole. His corruption is obvious.

    December 2, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Rhea

    Boehner...we are flabbergasted at you!!!!! you need to be a real American but you never will be. what is up with the repubs? I love how Boehner and the repubs come up with cliches like "flabbergasted" or "we're going over the cliff" but never a plan. Hey Boehner I think your buddy Lindsey Graham had the best cliches today. oh well, next week.

    December 2, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Jerry

    Pres. Obama's job is now secure. And I just can't wait to see how many road-blocking Republican congressmen get dumped in the mid-term elections. It's gonna be a beat-down!

    December 2, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. Jt_flyer

    Boehner's flabbergasted? The 640,000 people of the 8th district he represents have a median income of $43,400. yet they vote away their rights to the millionaires. Now that's something to be flabbergasted about.

    December 2, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. DeHobo

    Boehner keeps saying that the republican party 'won' the election in the house. They did not. They benefitted from the enormous - and outrageous - degree of gerrymandering at the state level in so many states. There were more ballots cast for democratic party candidates for the house than for republican party candidates for the house - the result of a majority for the republicans is a result of undemocratic manipulation.

    December 2, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. robertnoah

    Obama may have stolen the election but, raising taxes isn't going to solve a damn thing. You all know it. Lies.

    December 2, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Sensible lady

    Who does Boehner think he is?; the President of the US? When the Commander-in-Chief asks the Republicans to cooperate for the good of the country, then just do it! I think the only reason Boehner and his gang don't want taxes raised for the top 2% is because most of their campaign contributions come from the wealthiest in the country. To heck with the rest of us.

    December 2, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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