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. BostonSteve

    Let's just get it over with and step off.

    December 2, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. gregor1971

    You don't ask hard-working Americans for more money until you have done everything you can to reign in spending

    December 2, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. hende

    the republicans are really going to have to get with the program if they expect to survive. they're so out of touch with where the country is and needs to go

    December 2, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  4. Surthurfurd

    Is he flabbergasted that he does not get everything he wants? No matter what the Obama team offers, it is not enough. No matter how many times he is asked what he has offered he dodges the question.

    December 2, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  5. MATH IS DAMNING!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama wants $80-160 billion in new tax revenue.

    Obama's deficits run about $1.3 TRILLION (1300 billion)

    $1300 billion – $160 billion = $1140 billion ($1.140 TRILLION)

    So Mr. President, please tell us you have a plan for the rest of YOUR deficits?

    Please tell us you are not just holding out for a little chump-change revenge?

    December 2, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. Larry L

    @Ancient Texan

    Rogue351- A little class envy?
    ===============================================================================================
    You'd be wise to pay attention to "class envy". Throughout history when societies operated with an uneven playing field, allowing one "class" to develop opulent (even decadent) lifestyles the result was collapse and revolution. The poor always win in the often bloody end. When generations of people are born to fabulously wealthy families and never have the need to generate wealth, societies tend to fall to ruin. In order to preserve their position the powerful develop welfare societies to "feed them cake" and productivity of the nation disappears. This is complicated in a democracy because they must placate the poor with political rewards – both emotional and monetary. Ultimately the society enters a death spiral and from chaos another society emerges. Ostensibly, this could be prevented by avoiding creation of the uneven playing field and offering everybody a fair chance at a comfortable life.

    December 2, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. gregor1971

    Boehner, please stick to you guns. As an economics professor in the UC system, let me say that we need to reign in the out-of-control spending. This administration, unfortunately, has done nothing to show that it is a good steward of the tax money it currently controls. Now it wants more..... Time to take notes from companies that have had to learn to operate lean and mean during the recession. Too bad our government has not learned the same lessons

    December 2, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. Guest

    Hey Boehner-the people have spoken. I would personally like to come kick some sense into you and your Republican cronies.

    December 2, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. Ed Fl

    The worst speaker ever to hold that position is Boehner. Boehner and his what ever partner Cantor have done nothing for 2 years..Boehner is so dispised that he as the speaker [third inline for the Presidency] even lost his HOME STATE due to Boehners performance and inability to work WITH the President to help this country get back to what it was, Before George W Bush and the GOP party POOPERS.What a disgrace for such a high position. Maybe he will fall of the Bridge when all this comes tumbling down.

    December 2, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. LIP

    YeeHaw...over the edge we go. Don't anyone blink.

    December 2, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. honestmidwest

    Mr. B. – where have you been for the past two years? This is the same proposal that has been discussed over, and over, and over – and you are now "flabbergasted"?? It is logical, rational and makes sense-period. I appears that you and your group continue to prove your lack of concern for our great Country/People. But since you all would not release details of "your plan" before the election, and still have not even after the election....guess no one should be surprised. You are not doing you/your party (or the American people) any favors by acting like this....please-be an adult.

    December 2, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. jon

    How do we get rid of a boener..cold water usually works quite well. Let's throw a bucket of it on him.

    December 2, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. Bill Z.

    The House of Representatives I thought was suppose to represent what the PEOPLE want.
    Almost 70% of the PEOPLE want the Tax for the Rich Increased ...Now I wonder who they really are representing ???

    December 2, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. ShangDoogle

    I say we go "over the cliff" Then when everyone starts to feel the impact of out of control government spending perhaps they'll start to care about it. All these wonderful taxes that everyone is so fixated on will pay to run the government for less than 60 days. They don't even cover the interest on the debt. Yet all that many making oomments seem to care about is "sticking it to the man"

    Well, let's stick it to EVERYONE. Let's be fair about it. If you live in this country, and receive benefits from this government, (AND WE ALL DO!), than pay SOMETHING for it.

    December 2, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Jeff Cox

    I hate this man. He needs to go the way of Tom DeLay.

    December 2, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. Penny Wright

    What a great proposal from the White House.

    Obama finally grew some stones.

    December 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. dc

    Bonner...hope you're right up front when the ship sails over the cliff. You're more useless today than two years ago or four years ago or 10 years ago. It's time either get with the program of a full America or get out of the way, man, You cut the taxes of the rich under Bush and I lost my career job of 26 years as a result. My company is headed by Repugs and got bonus after bonus and thousands of us got the door keey taken away. Live with it, bub. Get real or get off hte tracks.

    December 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. OHreally?

    Well- Obama offered up a great deal back in 2011 with 3 to 1 cuts to taxes, but the arrogant and obstructionist GOP thumbed their nose at it and walked away then held the country hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. I think the GOP is the reckless party, threatening and holding us all hostage to the whims of the teaparty and Grover.
    Sorry, you gambled and lost. President Obama won big with an even bigger mandate for HIS economic plan.
    Stop crying- your hate and obstruction brought us here. Suck it up.

    December 2, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Dnick47

    This is basically the same stance that the GOP took after the real Black Friday when the stock market crached in 1929. While "Rome" burned the Republican Party held their hn=ands and said, "Oh my (sigh)" and did absolutely nothing.... When ten of thousands were hurting and even starving to death and freezing to death the GOP did (you guessed it) nothing. The GOP governs by doing nothing and always has... except when it comes to enriching themselves then they are very pro-active. Gringrich's "Young Turks" meet in the very wee hiurs of the night to vote themselves a huge pay and benefitss package ... that was their first act of :(and only) act of 'reform'. They will allow what happened in Greece recently to happen here because the GOP does nothing.

    December 2, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  20. Shaeri

    I think what Boehner found flabberghasting was the presdient's request to have the power to raise the debt ceiling turned over solely to the executive branch. Frankly, I find that flabberghasting too. I'm shocked that people think its ok to give that power to Obama!

    December 2, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. DevilsPrinciple

    I agree with most of the posters here. Taxes must go up. So, here's my proposal for Boehner to give to Obama. Keep the top two tax tiers where they are and raise taxes on everyone else by 20-30 %. If the middle class wants services, let them pay for them , too.

    That should fix our debt problem. ; )

    December 2, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  22. Expat American

    The President is holding a full house while Boehner is bluffing with a pair of twos.
    You call, Mr. Speaker....

    December 2, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Oly65

    sorry folks but the rich still GET A TAX CUT just like everyone else but just to the 250,000 just like everyone else. No crying for these millionaires and billionaires because they get what everyone else gets tax cuts just not after the quarter million. And THAT IS WHAT THE GOP IS FIGHTING FOR.

    December 2, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Shaeri

    Also, hiking taxes on capital gains and dividends from 14% to 45% is going to scewer retirees. Raising taxes on the wealthy (is $200,000.00 (single person) really "wealthy"?– not in Northern Virginia) is fine but I think trying to do it by closing loopholes is the better way. Otherwise, the rich will hide their money in those loopholes and the ones footing the bill will be the "thousandaires" rather than the "millionaires" and "billiionaires".

    December 2, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. d man

    Boehner said two years ago when the Republicans took over the house that their primary goal was to make Obama a one-term president. At that moment he should have been arrested for treason. His statement meant that he would jeopardize the American people for his own personal goals.

    He refuses to compromise even when he knows that Obama won the election and the American was the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Boehner needs to be removed from his position.

    He won't be happy till there are two classes, the wealthy and the poor. He wants to do away with the middle classes all together.

    December 2, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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