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. pubesrtoast

    Grand Obstructionist Party... Listen up! We won, you lost! Get on with the program! Or suffer another humiliating defeat come 2014!

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

    Oh stop it please- the president caved in and capitulated to all the Republican demands last year- Boehner actually said he was quite happy because he got 98% of what he asked for. Time for the Democrats to get 98% of what THEY ask for. Elections have consequences as does obstruction and hate. It is the Republicans who say my way or the highway- repeatedly walking away from great deals. Let the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire like they were intended to. Such big cry babies. I am tired of them screwing with our political process.

    December 2, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Radgast

    12 years of the 10 year tax break, and all they have done is complain is Obama doesn't create jobs, but tax breaks do? Here is what I want to know, some specifics on the republican plan to take care of this problem, Are they proposing serious revenue. I would be interested in their ideas for budget cuts, tax rates, specific loopholes, I know the president has actually exceeded the goal with his proposals, I would say to both parties, and cuts to social security is a retro tax to those who have paid into it. Taking money away from those no longer earning a living is the worse tax of all.

    December 2, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Boehner is like a broken record. He refuses to compromise unless it is for the rich.
    It is like groundhog day all over again. It is time to get rid of this uncompromising,
    protect the rich, screw the middle class platform he stands on.

    December 2, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Every time Boehner opens his trap my modest portfolio takes a hit. I want him to negotiate, not agitate.

    December 2, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  6. OHreally?

    What is really ironic is the Republicans got us into this mess with their economic policies. They were not concerned when Bush ballooned the debt with 2 unfunded wars and huge tax cuts for the rich. AND.... Bush started out with a huge surplus. Obama started out with a depression (which he skillfully avoided) and 2 wars and he has already stemmed the losses and the work of digging us out of Bush's and the GOP's mess is well under way. We would be really stupid to want to return to the same exact policies that got us into this crisis. History shows us the GOP screws up the economy and the democrats fix it and then the GOP screws it up again.

    December 2, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. OHreally?

    Boehner can not control the house- he is the worst leader of the house EVER. The tax rates MUST be allowed to return to their previous levels on the top 2%. Do it now or it will happen automatically Dec31. Easy choice but the tea party has them by the short hairs and they have all sold their souls to GROVER.

    December 2, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. TonyK

    Well Boehner being "flabbergasted" certainly shows him in alignment with the under 40 crowd, only some of whom will have any idea what he means . . .

    December 2, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. Mr. Reality

    Republicans won't budge. They already damaged America's international credit rating. Republicans simply do not care about average Americans. They even oppose consumer protection laws. Why does anyone except the very rich vote Republican?

    December 2, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. pubesrtoast

    Continue to defy the American-backed president then act "surprised" after losing the house in 2014.

    December 2, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. Cindy

    The Democrats plan is now on the internet. It is now time for the Republicans to put their plan on the iinternet. All the Republicans do is whine and cry.

    December 2, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. John

    Obama won the presidency and the Dems control the Senate. They control 2 out of 3 branches of the Government. Obama has every right to pass his agenda. The GOP are the minority party and do not have the final say. Elections matter and the GOP lost. GOP needs to stop dithering and get with the program.......

    December 2, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. OHreally?

    I am flabbergasted that the GOP continues to call the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts, a tax hike. Did they really think the Bush tax cuts were forever? They were intended to expire and Obama already extended them once. Time to go over the cliff if these crap posts in the tea party controlled GOP don't understand how economics work, how elections work, and what temporary tax cuts means. Sick and tired of these obstructionists- they did nothing for 2 years on the hope that their hateful and reckless obstruction would cause Obama to lose a second term. Geez, what will it take for the GOP to understand we do not care for threats, obstruction, hostage taking within the chambers of Congress?

    December 2, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Mack

    Bottom line, raising the tax rates onthe wealthy reduces Obama's annual deficit by about 3%. It is a non-solution and it is laughable and sad that this is the centerpiece, single non-negotiable item and complete focus of Obama's "fix" for the deficit. It is negligent and the only possible reason it can have such focus is class warfare.

    And for those who think the republicans should just roll over because O won the election: since when has any party simply rolled over when the other party won the presidency? It's never happened, and only the simple-minded would think its gonna happen this time. Furthermore, presidents don't make laws, congress does. And the people elected a split congress.

    December 2, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Chris

    I'm flabbergasted that Boehner is STILL protecting the rich at the expense of the rest of us.

    December 2, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Dubhly

    Republicans lost the POTUS to the Dems
    Republicans lost 2 Senate seats to the Dems
    Republicans lost 7 in the House and the Dems gained 11
    Seems to me America has spoken, and I am just flabbergasted that Boehner still doent get it. Either the Republicans learn humility and compromise for the sake of the country, or we will survive as a Union....the GOP will not survive as a party

    December 2, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Steve

    John Boehner- Go tanning and have another cigarette and let the intelligent people solve Americas problems.

    December 2, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  18. Rick P

    After waking up at the local pub, with an empty bottle of Scotch next to him, John Boehner said we was flabbergasted! OMG! Those hangovers are getting harder and harder to shake of.

    December 2, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. Dave R.

    Where the heck has Boehner all this time? Talk abut being clueless. He`is the one that is still not getting the message.

    December 2, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  20. xnay

    Nothing to do with reducing the debt. Its all the about the chickens coming home to roost and getting back at the man. Greece, Spain and Italy wait for us.

    December 2, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  21. john

    Boehner looks like a demon in that picture, like the devil in a suit....

    December 2, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. Angela

    R L Smith says:
    December 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm
    “They won the election, (but) they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold the majority in the House”? Drawing your own line in the sand? Reeks of a veiled threat. Keep this crap up and we won’t have to be concerned with who holds the House majority in 2014.
    -------
    They only hold congress because of gerrymandering done quietly or should I say sneakily. Dems would have won the house too. Can't wait until 2014. Sick of the obstruction.

    December 2, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. xnay

    All the tax increases in the world won't get the video gamers on this blog a job

    December 2, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. john

    He has been crying for the last 4 years....

    December 2, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Nodack

    "I would say that 90% of the 53%who voted for Obama had no earthly idea what they were really voting for. The most dangerous thing to our country is an uneducated electorate, and we surely have that."

    I voted for Obama and I did a LOT of homework. You certainly can't say that Republicans are an educated electorate when they get their education from FOX News. Their Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney changed his mind every five min utes on what he stood for. His Vice presidential pick and him said the opposite of each other on a daily basis. NOBODY knew what he stood for.

    Republicans are against Obamacare and say that any country with Universal health Care is a Socialistic country and that they are all failing. The facts are ALL other industrialized nations on earth already have Universal Health Care and they ALL pay half what Americans pay for health care and ALL of them are covered. About ,00000000000000000000000001% of Republicans are aware of this info and the one guy that knows it denies it. they refuse to look at ANY other country to see what works or not, they just bury their heads in the sand and cry SOCIALISM!

    December 2, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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