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. momzna

    Why everybody ganged up on people who earn more than $250k/year? Incomes are already taxed on a progressive scale, so they pay more from every dollar above $250k than low earners pay from their incomes. High salary is not a life time award. You can lose it faster than a low paying job. They are not won in a lottery. People invest great deal of time and effort to acquire high valued professional skills and get a job or create their own businesses. By raising taxes only for high earners you are effectively saying: talent and dedicated effort mean nothing to us; no matter how good you are, we will pull you down to the level of the crowd.

    Why $250k/year and not $100k/year? It looks like a result of a shrewd political calculation. Nobody in his right mind would be happy to be singled out for punishment. Therefore democrats chose a small enough group that they could afford to alienate.

    December 3, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  2. fish

    just like GOP thinking that can rule the world and only vote on issue that help there agenda

    December 3, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  3. Tired of the dramatic comments

    so much hate in these comments. If your making statements to be dramatic and hoping your striking a nerve....your part of the problem.

    But just a question to dwell on – When tax rates go up on the rich (if you think 250k a year is rich) and it makes no difference in the deficit....what do you go after next? This is a spending problem. Just as you and I cannot spend more than we have, the government needs to rein itself in as well.

    December 3, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  4. rc

    I would rather go over the fiscal cliff and then fix it rather than give in to Obama's demands. Obama's ideas of "helping" the US economy will just put us more heavily in debt.

    December 3, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  5. Pat Savu

    I hope in 2 years the American public can see what the Republican are and vote enough of them out of the House to give Democrats control of the House. Boehner is the one who is not willing to compromise on anything.

    December 3, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. sassafras

    ""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."

    Two points: Republicans hold the majority in the house due to gerrymandering; they lost several seats. And yes, the president won, he gets to set the agenda.

    If Boehner and his crew are so flabbergasted, why aren't they presenting a counter proposal? Because they can't. Because the best they can offer is the Ryan plan that voters soundly rejected not one month ago. Because they don't want to tell the American people exactly what they want to cut because they want to get reelected in 2014. Because Boehner wants to keep his job come January.

    December 3, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. momzna

    Why $250k/year and not $100k/year? It looks like a result of a shrewd political calculation. Nobody in his right mind would be happy to be singled out for punishment. Therefore democrats chose a small enough group that they could afford to alienate.

    December 3, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  8. Wise1Speak

    Roughly 67% of Americans call for a 4% increase on taxes for those making $250,000.00 and higher. This 4% increase is to be counted only on income above $250,000.00; not the portion below $250,000.00.

    If this is what 2/3'rd of the nation wants, than why is John Boehner stalling?

    December 3, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  9. probama

    i am a proud liberal democrat and voted for obama. you better not take away the free stuff he has given us. 2 years of unemploymen income. free obamaphone. free medicad. free social security disability. free 10k earned income credit. keep the free stuff coming !

    December 3, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  10. Linsday Brighton

    The only flabbergasting thing is Boehner, but are we surprised?????

    December 3, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  11. Marla

    Someone in the Bush administration recognized that the tax cuts should not last forever. That's why they had an expiration. It's time to let them expire.

    December 3, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  12. Thomas

    Make Obama a one term President .

    ‘flabbergasted’

    House Speaker John Boehner and his party have done everything in there power to obstruct or stall any progress.

    ‘flabbergasted’

    December 3, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. nofn way

    ummm last time i looked at the election results.. 51/48 .. or something like that.. that is not a landslide by anymeans.

    It is NOT My way or the highway.. Some of you liberal dopeheads think that its fine to do it when doofus in the WH says so.. but when the shoe is on the other foot.. omg.. they can't do that...

    What happened to working with congress? This is NOT working with anyone.

    December 3, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  14. Jim

    We are broke
    Raise taxes all you want, we still will spend ourselves off a much bigger cliff
    Bankruptcy default insolvency
    Call it want you want
    Can't revenue your way out of this

    December 3, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. Danny

    Hopefully in two years we can get rid of these insanely useless republicans and actually start moving forward in this country again.

    December 3, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  16. Linda

    Boehner's spent many days being flabbergasted since November 6th. Being flabbergasted must confuse him because he appointed a woman of all things to head a committee. What are the Republicans coming to? I hope he returns the binders of women to Mittens.

    December 3, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. Steve

    Regardless of how this runs this country needs two strong parties (three would be okay with me these days) and the GOP is looking impotent and divided. Here's hoping they get it together and reassess what they really stand for. If what we see today is really what they (GOP) stand for, they're irrelevant.

    December 3, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  18. arg

    The goverment gave tax breaks to the rich for several years. Instead of making things better, it made things worst. The said thing about this is that the GOP may send the nation over the cliff as a way of expressing their anger at losing the election.

    There is a good chance that they will be consigned to the dustbin of history if they user in a second great depression. It is very troubling that there hate towards Obama is so great that they maybe willing to permantly sacrifice their nation and their part to express it.

    December 3, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. hoapres

    Let's just go over the cliff.

    Boehner can say no new revenue bills until Obamacare is repealed.

    We have a big election in 2014 likely leading to the democrats sweeping Congress.

    Then we can move forward.

    Problem solved.

    December 3, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  20. norma jean

    Isn't this the point where Boehner breaks into tears .....Awwww!!... I have no doubt but that the president has a very good idea of what he wants to do and Boehner will find out in time to take the usual Republican.... "party of no"... stance !!!

    December 3, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  21. Miss Macy

    President Obama will prevail. Boehner hasn't got a chance here. Let him pretend to be flabbergasted if he wants to. It's good entertainment.

    December 3, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  22. David

    If the Bush tax cuts worked we would be rolling in money.... DAH!

    December 3, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  23. tpobrienjr

    Shouldn't we be able to get rid of the "BushTaxCuts"? I thought they were an idiotic thing to do when we had two wars going on! Yeah, let's cut taxes while we spend a zillion dollars a day and throw away countless lives.

    December 3, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  24. CMS

    You people are all crazy. You think the top 5% has enough to bridge the gap. Hint if you taxed at 100% there would still be a 3-400 BILLION deificit. Raising taxes and cutting spending is what is needed and Dems wont touch spending other than Medicare (as they know this is only going to get far worse so might as well prep the deck with small cuts now). $1.6 Trillion over 10 years is barely a dent. Thats like cutting up one credit card when you have 10 more right behind it. Although I am not a Republican I think they have it right this time, gotta do both.

    December 3, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. sigmond seamonster

    Have another drink Boehner...do something about it all tomorrow.....

    December 3, 2012 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
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