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. electric52

    I say "GO OVER THE FISCAL CLIFF" and be done with it. This Congress is a Lame Duck Congress. There are representatives in there now that aren't going to be in there next year and they COULD CARE LESS. They didn't care when they were in Congress, why should they care now? When Boehner says going over the cliff would be detrimental he doesn't finish his sentence. The last part of his sentence is " ... it would be detrimental to people making over $250,000 a year." ... END OF SENTENCE.

    December 2, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. snomannn

    Mr. Boehner, you are not listening. We did not elect your guy, you lost. We do not want to do business as usual any more. I don't think you are "flabbergasted", I think you are angry. Your foot dragging temper tantrum is pathetic. It's a new day and a new way. You and your party were not able to buy this election like you thought you could (thank god), so wise up. Maybe you're too old or stuck in your ways to be effective any longer. Do the right thing sir or make it worse for your party than it already is. The choice is yours.

    December 2, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. DB

    It is not all about increasing taxes but also cutting spending. It is spending is out of control and no democract wants to cut so let the bush tax expire and create obama tax so he can not blame bush. Main stream media does not tell the stroy.

    December 2, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. De Odorizer

    Boehner , flabberghasted? Boehner confused? Boehner, delusional?
    A reflection of the GOP ( you fill in what G O P stands for , or doesn't).

    Boehner, on his way out. Bully Boehner, you met your match. Gloves are off. The people spoke. Now, shut up, go home. Your time is past, boehner boy.

    December 2, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. Zion

    Boehner is coward who is letting himself be blackmailed. That's not Leadership!

    December 2, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. TrumanTown

    Boehner and the Republicans should have taken the deal they had last year. It was the best they ever would have gotten. By playing the politician card last year, they've put themselves and the country in a terrible position. Prediction: they'll play politician again and lose everything.

    December 2, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  7. NY Rep

    To get out of this debt that has been built over the last 12 years is to increase taxes for everyone. Start with the top 2% and once the economy picks up incease taxes for everyone back to Clinton era rates. Also close the loop holes that allow high earners to pay less than 15% rate. On the spending side, change the law and allow Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices. Also add more investigators for Medicaid fraud. Tweak the retirement age for professionals and let it remain the same for labor intense jobs like manufacturing. Last give tax breaks to companies that manufacture and produce a product.

    December 2, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. De Odorizer

    @i can't get over it: you said" obama didnt just win he DOMINATED
    ----Uh...... No he didn't. He won by 3%."...

    Obama WON by 126 electoral votes, 335 combined against McCain AND romney. (georgey boy bush WON by ONE electoral vote first time around when he bought the election, won by 16 electoral votes or so , second time around.

    OBAMA, 126 electoral votes this time around.
    Please, do me a favor: keep whining, we love it so much.

    December 2, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. tucsand

    What Boehner is really saying is the democrats won't kiss his bum.

    December 2, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  10. rs1201

    Between the lying, dishonest obama and the stubborn republicans...the American People are the ones who will lose. I expect the markets to go down the toilet tomorrow.

    December 2, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. Jackson Flaherty

    Obama has lost his mind. He is convinced he is the Messiah. His arrogance make him mentally unbalanced and dangerous. Biden needs to call the cabinet together and get BO committed.

    December 2, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. Jackson Flaherty

    Let the Demos run the boat. It will sink. And our nation will fall into chaos. The Welfare babies will be the least able to survive; they will die off, the Dems will be irrelevant and the real citizens will rule again.

    December 2, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Smarterest Human

    Maybe Mr. BONhER will start crying. He is the King of ALL OBSTRUCTIONISTS!

    December 2, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. Stopthemadness

    Over and Over Republicans yell we have made an offer, over and over again they yell that it's their offer or no offer. They are not willing to compromise, They have heard Obama's deal they refuse to accept it. They want to back out of their old deal that they wrote and made and held the coountry hostage over. Is anyone else getting sick of this guy running his gums about they won't work with us when over and over again it is the other way around?

    December 2, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. LOLZ CNN!

    Barry doesn't know how to negotiate – being a community organizer never trained him...

    December 2, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Annoyed with it all

    What i find funny is evryone thinks we should tax the rich.. As a republican i agree, what no one seems to get is the dems have to stop spending like a teenage girl with daddies credit card.
    Comprimise is simple raise the above 250k tax rate and STOP spending on stupid stuff. Stop creaing czar jobs for you buddies shrink the government not grow it... So you want the Bohner to just say ok raise taxes and keep spending? Basically ghat just shifts yhe line and nothing more... Whenyou grow up and realize the government does not support every thing you do and realize you make your own way we can finaly get back to being the greatest country in the world. Keep up the current spend happy ways and telling everyone what go do and spending spending spending and we will be like Greece huge debt and having to stop all the goverment run pensions, health care hand hold programs. Then we speak Mandrin
    Raise the tax but cut 200% more in spending than you gainin the tax raise... Betyou dems wouldnt do that for a solid country would ya?

    December 2, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. MIJohn

    A House that was won purely by some of the most blatant gerrymandering around. Heck Michigan has a GOP-controlled legislature and governorship and we STILL went for the Democrats at the federal level. If the entire state selected our legislature as a whole its likely we would be a blue state. And in way better shape since the GOP wouldn't have gutted the tax base to hand out tax breaks to the companies who came in, bought up the local companies for their design and patents, then moved overseas. Since the GOP managed to twist around the districts thanks to lousy pandering to the most extreme voices in low-turnout elections though we're stuck with a bunch of senile has-beens farts and their cronies whose supporters can't even SPELL college much less attend one.

    Though I'm not surprised Boehner is spewing the same lines now as in 2010. Like the rest of the GOP he has fallen victim to one of the big no-no's in running a tyranny (or trying to) – never believe your own propaganda. He's so wrapped up in the idea of "small government equals success" that he's completely blind to the fact that EVERY case in history is the opposite. Government shrinks things go to heck because the people at the top are pathologically greedy. When government grows it keeps things going by smacking the fingers of the rich with a 16 inch brass ruler every time they get caught trying to steal from the cookie jar. He keeps doing this we're going to see a repeat of 1998 when the "certain fact" that a sitting presidents party loses seats in the mid-term elections reversed.

    Of course what I find really ironic in all this is that the party who preaches "small government" is the SAME party who uses government to dictate to others how they should worship if at all, who they can or can not marry, or what you do with your own body when it doesn't affect other people. Just like how they pose as the party of "law and order" but always turn to a blind eye to the most obvious criminal acts of the rich and corporations and put as many roadblocks in the path of investigations as possible.

    Makes me wonder – are they opposed to government, or government that doesn't resemble Germany in the late 1930s? So far their actions, which speak the loudest, say the later.

    December 2, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  18. Stopthemadness

    Forwad OFF THE CLIFF I SAY!!!!!! let it all come crumbling down. That way when The cry babies lose their tax cuts they can't say anything about it. when all of America calls for their heads for burdening them further with their horrendous behavior.

    December 2, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  19. Paladin Knight

    Obviously, Boehner is unprepared. If he didn't see this coming, and is now flabbergasted, then he has no business being the Speaker of the House. He should have had a counter-proposal ready to go so that real negotiations cab begin. Obviously, he and his Republican House counterparts sit idly by and do nothing as always. If anything, they should go ahead and extend the Bush tax cuts for those making under $250,000 and get that part out of the way. The spending cuts and other tax decisions can come through serious negotiating and compromise. That's if they have some real sense of purpose and adult intelligence of which I have no doubt they for which they do not have the capacity in either case.

    December 2, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  20. Dan5404

    How soon we forget. Who was it who refused to disclose several years of tax returns, and who could not give any details on which tax loopholes he would close, nor give details on how he could pay for 7 trillion in tax cuts his plan included? Although Romney was beaten pretty badly,you see the same pattern with Boehner and the Tea Party/Norquist House as well as the sourpuss Mitch McConnell in the Senate, even though they immediately dropped Romney completely after the election, making him persona non grata, just like George Bush. And,just like Romney, they can't give their plan publicly because they can't without disclosing their true agenda. Nothing new.

    December 2, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @chrgyr: "Bobama has no intention of cutting ANY spending. The Repuplicans should walk away from the talks and let Bobama take us over the cliff. It will reduce the deficit."

    I can tell you're a Repub because you never let facts get in your way. President Obama HAS proposed spending cuts; and for every $1 in new revenue from those making more than $250,000 per year and from closing corporate loopholes, the budget proposed by the President has $2.50 in spending cuts including the deficit reduction enacted over the last year.

    BTW, for those making over $250,000 a year, their taxes on that first $250,000 REMAIN THE SAME. It is only on income ABOVE $250,000 that their taxes will go up, by 3.9%.

    Additional BTW: How many small business owners do you know make over $250,000 a year after all their expenses (including payroll)? The "small business owners" the Repubs are trying to protect are S Corporation hedge fund managers and the like (look it up if you don't know what I mean).

    December 2, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. toobefree

    Stop being a crybaby, man up and sign the deal.

    December 2, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @Dean: "Obama, you want to raise some taxes? Raise the tax rate on profits from commodity trading to 95%"

    Or simply enact a modest per transaction fee. With all the high-frequency trading (H.F.T.) of stocks and the like, think of the revenue that could be raised! And these traders can afford it: profits from it in American stocks are on track to be $1.25 billion for 2012.

    We really ought to do this. "Flash crashes" (like what happened May 6, 2010) and hiccups happen often, hurting in the markets and the average investor. These folks get to take advantage of our nation's inherent wealth; they should be paying for the privilege to do so.

    December 2, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Jerry

    Wow, all our problems will be solved by raising the tax's on the top 2%? The amount of revenue that will be raise will not put a dent in our deficit. Wake up.

    December 2, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Boehner and the Repubs are going to compromise; all this whiny talk is so they can tell their base they tried hard. And they'll still put a lot of energy into claiming how they were victimized by the President ... *sigh*

    December 2, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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