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. sbssue1

    Let's all jump over the cliff, why fall????? It would be good to teach everyone a lesson, think? Obama has enought to keep himself comfortable.

    December 2, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. JohnRJohnson

    MR. BOEHNER - THE ONLY REASON you're "flabbergasted" by the White House proposal is because you live in fear of your out-of-control, anti-government caucus which would rather crash the economy again that raise taxes 1¢ on the top 2%. You know this is a realistic and reasonable proposal. You know rates have to go up. You know that we need the stimulus spending to upgrade and repair our infrastructure. But you are at the point in your life where EVERYTHING is viewed through a political prism. You can no longer distinguish between what is right for the country and what is wrong. You, sir, ARE THE WORST SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY. And the country is going to pay dearly for that.

    December 2, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. JEBBY

    something to note for the free spending liberals, you could take 100% of the wealthy's income and still have a budget deficit. We have a spending problem, we have a debt problem.

    December 2, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Sondagsakare

    Let's hear the Republican proposal–the facts. Where will they get the money? It will have to be eliminating the mortgage interest deduction and charitable deductions. 'Fess up, Boehner.

    December 2, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. mcp123

    "The republicans may have lost the elections; but they cannot afford to roll over. If the WH won't deal they simply wait them out. It's just politics. Obama is not a king, just a president. He will learn the difference."

    Then they will be held responsible by the majority of the American public for the disaster they created.... just like last years credit rating downgrade. They will suffer greatly in the next election as well. The president won re-election...they should realize that its because the majority of the public believes the rich have had it too easy. Their tax rates are the lowest in 50 years right now. Tax rates used to be 90% on high income earners... and there were still rich people and still investment and still a good economy.

    December 2, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. stwebb

    Mr Boehner...

    You don't speak for MOST of us!!!

    December 2, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. ohsnap

    "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.

    No, you guys have stonewalled for the last 4 years. You and the Repblicans did everything you could to make him a one term president, while disrepecting him and the office for 4 years. Never in my 60 years of life have I seen anything like it...not even with Bush. This President has been nothing but nice...too nice. But the next 4 years are HIS and you guys better step up. You LOST the election. YOU LOST. The American people have chosen and are watching. President Obama has been 'rolling over' for the last 4 years. NO MORE.

    Boehner is the most divisive person I've ever seen.

    December 2, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Wallaceboy

    Obama ran on a platform of "let the other guy pay". Most of you sound like you voted for this guy but remember that almost half of America did not. He has clear mandate. Recall that Obama talked like Ryan when he ran in '08. To fix the debt we need to deal with entitlements and overhaul the tax code. He also promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. How did that work out? How about some leadership from Barry and find some middle ground. All he can say is let the rich guys pay more. Let's not forget that these 2% you hate so much already pay most of the taxes and 48% pay no taxes. It is easy to shoot off your mouth when it calls for someone else to carry the load. Come on Barry, show some leadership – we need to cut spending and reform the tax code in a "balanced" way (your words not mine). BYW, taxing the 2% more will run the government for 8.5 days......We need less government and more participation in paying the bill.

    December 2, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Oh, give me a freaking break, Boehner. Your faux outrage is funnier than hell. And nearly as devastating as your HELL NO was back in the day when we really needed your input but got nothing. Today ... not so much. Raising taxes on the upper echelons is a done deal. You know it. Democrats know it. Republicans know it. American knows it.

    The rest is for our lobbying friends to whine and complain. It's all their good for anymore anyway. Whining. That and greasing the palms of a bought and paid for Republican Congress.

    December 2, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Name

    republicans: change your old mentality its a new era, the u.s is made up of minorities, with your old ideas your sinking the boat we are all on, keep it up and you will loose again and again.

    December 2, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. AMERICAN

    Americans aren't stupid and they aren't desperate. They all know the "Boehner's" of politics got us into this mess and have systematically refused to budge. And when the next Congressional elections occur they will be cut left and right from the playing field. And for the record the "language" Fiscal Cliff is that – language...the impacts are factually and actually not going to be much different than today. AND – the tax rate shift will be lower than the taxes paid in the 50s, 60s, 70s by these fools.
    So – GO OVER THE CLIFF, FORCE THE REPUBLICANS HAND AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS – NOT MUCH, other than proving again the Republicans are playing Russian Roulette with YOUR LIVES. SHAME ONE THEM.

    December 2, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. ST

    What a bad negotiator Boehner is?? " We are nowhere". What is he negotiating then!!

    December 2, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Brad

    A Serious offer is not the same as a reasonable offer... Boehner knows he has no intention of actually working with the white house, and that is something that has been 100% consistent across all efforts to resolve this. What I find flabbergasting about this is Boehner, and it has always been he who is the joke.

    December 2, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Shakeitup

    it's astonishing that politicians are making decisions about what's best for our country when they are about as under qualified as a newborn baby. What do they know about accounting? Instead, they are exercising their egos without regard to anything else but who is going to get an L or W in their columns. sickening we've elected and re-elected these 'career' politicians. Wake up people! What have they done for you lately? Bad decision after bad decision.

    December 2, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Leroy

    House Speaker John Boehner is absolutely the worst Speaker ever! He heads the House which has a measly 8% approval rating!

    December 2, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. matt

    Democrats need to take ownership too, of there wasteful spending on programs that may or may not be good. Put it in this perspective. Most of us have bills to pay, house, car, electricity, and so on
    But if we said o my children need clothes but they have to have uggs from Macy's, and they have to eat so we take them to olive garden every night. Sounds good. Right, but I skipped my house payment to do it, now I've skipped other bills as well, hey. We have bills going to collections lets ask the parents for help. Or our neighbors. Now Its the same thing on a grander scale in Washington. If we write checks over 500 and they bounce. We go to court, collections or jail
    If the govt. Does it they just raise taxes, and say its for the children
    And when our country is in a financial mess in 2016 who's Obama gonna blame then Bush still, Boehner? No I dont think so. When youre pointing your finger at someone, remember the rest are pointing right back at you! Get real, get honest. Our we are all in trouble.

    December 2, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Eric Dexter

    Ann Richards says the whole thing is solved by raising the soc security age by three months.... soc security and medicare are the problem and small adjustments will keep them from going in the red.. (It's like the democrats are in a different reality and maybe some of the republicans are also)

    December 2, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. tam

    I'd say he's dumbfounded - in all ways.

    December 2, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. So.......

    You expect us to believe you're serious and you take your case to Fox News?

    December 2, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Boehner is flabbergasted, and Romney was so sure he'd win the presidency that he didn't prepare a concession speech.
    Surprise!
    I am confident that President Obama will make the right decisions for our country.
    If I'd had confidence in this bunch of Republicans, I'd have voted for them. After all, I'm a member of the Republican Party.
    Most of the Republicans need to catch up with the rest of the class. This country is moving on.

    December 2, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Tony

    Republicans are flabbergasted that Obama wants more concessions from Republicans after he won the election. No wonder Republicans lost the election. They are so out of touch that it is not funny.

    December 2, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Thomas

    No Cigarets , No Booze , and the Golf course is flooded !

    Boehner ‘flabbergasted

    December 2, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. twalk

    Boehner flabbergasted because the repubturd scare tactics are not working this time around. No deal Repubturds, so quit playing games. Repubturds are out for the top 1% only

    December 2, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. poopmeister

    Yes, the republicans got CRUSHED in the 2012 election, why?, because Obama won during a recession and that was a huge accomplishment. A monkey should have gone against him and won but because the American people aren't completely stupid, they re-elected him. We need him and his ideals. The GOP wants to believe that we want a smaller government but it is a new day and age and we will need to rely on the programs put in place or else we would turn into a 3rd world country. I for one (even though I am in the low middle class), would pay higher taxes if it got the country back on track and I don't even like this country. I'll be moving to Canada when I am able to, just to get away from the GOP and the uber rich that control our country.

    December 2, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. lac

    Get rid of the two wars which were never paid for, get fair tax rates, close loop holes........whoola!......we're on are way. This debt did not happen over night........8 years prior to the last 4, those years pretty much did us in. Try to remember that there was no problem with the Clinton years.

    December 2, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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