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. Anonymous

    we can't even begin to talk about balanced util the rate for capital gains has some parity with the rate for wages. Is Boehner flabbergasted in the some way that Romney was, i.e. "all my polls said I was ahead"? tell Boener to bend over and take it like a man. Let's start by cutting congress' pay and benefits and taxing unearned income at the same rate as earned.

    December 2, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    All the talk of the GOP/Tea Party reinventing itself after the disastrous presidential election loss is all cheap talk. They are still fighting for the 1% wealthiest at the expense of the middle class and poor. Voters will remember that Speaker Boehner and Minority Senate Leader McConnell stands for Wall Street and not Main Street.

    December 2, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. john

    Its off the cliff we go! Might be the best thing anyway. And both sides can blame the other! Enlightened people will of course know that it is Bow-ners fault.

    December 2, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Joanne Renshaw

    All during the Bush era, the republicans poohed poohed away any notion or mention that future generations' welfare, health, and economic future was being mortgaged away. Now Boehner says "out-of-control spending is mortgaging the future of the next generation". Repulicans are the masters of transference an deceit.

    December 2, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. cls

    Do waste time being flabbergasted. Get to work and put your own concrete proposals out there. If you can't come up with any that will help the economy then get out of the President's way.

    December 2, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Mountain Girl Can't Pee

    Mr. Boehner is a complete and utter moron. His party will have to back Obama, or suffer the wrath of Americans at the polls who are disgusted with him and his party.

    December 2, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Lance D.

    Classic American Poker: Obama/Patrick tried to stack the deck - Romney/Ryan reshuffled - House GOP deals - Larry Flynt "Hot Free Press" hums - Obama/Patrick gang banged. Boston Hot Lips should have stayed out of the game - coupons for "Cuban Cigars" found in the Sunday Boston Globe - light up the Benghanzi Fire. Free matches found among Senate Democrats (wink).

    December 2, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Franky

    To Jebby,
    while your comment is simply wrong, if we took 100% of the wealthiest income we would not have a deficit, we would be on the plus side by trillions of dollars although, we'd still have a debt. But no longer a deficit, an after several years the debt would be erased if it was assumed the surplus was used to pay down the debt. Finally, your comment is really stupid because its hyperbole and a strawman because no one is asking to take all the income of the wealthy, so don't exaggerate and argue against what would be a ridiculous proposal, and then equate that to the proposal at hand. The proposal at hand is having the top 2% go back to paying the Clinton tax rates. Which cuts the deficit by 1/3 , once we finally expire the bush tax cuts and go back to Clinton rates for all that's 1/2 the deficit erased, we then make cuts to get the rest of balance down, voila balanced budget. If you think this is such a draconian plan than you are as silly as boehner go join norquist where the interest of a few people out weigh the interest of the nation.

    December 2, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Grahame Rhodes

    Boehner You are so out of touch that it's pathetic. All your latest diatribe does is reinforce the backers of the Republican Party who have given you millions in order to try to buy the election. Didn't work then... Won't work now. I have some bad news for all you Republicans. Because of the internet Americans are getting better educated all the time and as they do so your brand of politics shrinks....If I were you I'd be extremely worried about the future of your Republican party. The times they are a-changing.

    December 2, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    "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.

    Actually we are shocked, even after the election republicans are behaving like spoiled children

    Where is your proposal Mr.Boehner? Are you willing to extend the Bush tax cut for 98% of Americans ?

    Paul Ryan said Obama "funneled" $716 billion out of Medicare "at the expense of the elderly.". That mean Obama already cut $716 billion Medicare

    December 2, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Dr. Loop

    As a soon to be former Republican, I say go ahead and raise the taxes. But it must come with an equal size cut in expenditures. I want my children to grow up in a country where we aren't mortgaging my kids future. See I am a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal. Gay marriage - I don't care. Smoke dope - I don't care. But they way our commie President is running the country you would think he is god. But his poop stinks just like mine. And Geithner is just an idiot who needs to be castrated.

    December 2, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. blake

    Obama is making a mockery of this process. He clearly does not want a deal. Hope the American people are happy with the choice they have made. Four more years of class warfare and closet Marxism.

    December 2, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Andrew

    If you seriously think the Obama's proposal will solve anything, then please read into it more. At the current rate we are adding $1 trillion of debt per year. With the current proposal we will add $1.6 trillion in revenue over 10 years. That, coupled with only $500 billion in spending cuts over that time, won't accomplish anything. We will still add $2,500,000,000,000 over Obama's term.

    Tax hikes need to be a part of any plan, but the only was this works (if we only manage to keep 53% of Americans paying taxes) is if everybody's rates go up. Otherwise, the cuts to spending will have to be massive. Unfortunately, I don't see a very tangible solution to solving this based on our current economic situation. The only way we can dig out of this is by getting people off welfare and creating jobs for them. 53% paying taxes and 7.9% unemployment aren't going to cut it. I'm waiting for any politician to comment that jobs are going to be the most important issue going forward!

    Remember, Obama only received 50.8% of the vote, and about half the country voted against him (47.5% for Romney). That is FAR from dominating my friends.

    December 2, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. dax

    its all a conspiracy!!! Both side want it to fail,they want the new world order to take shape

    December 2, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. bhuman

    Same old poor boy Boehner....Blame soneone else for all the chaos he is creating.

    December 2, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. cincinnatidavid

    Mr. Boehner is not capable of being flabbergasted. Mr. B. knows all about refusing to compromise. Mr. B. SHOULD know that agreeing to a rational tax above $250 K would be a start to negotiation. He SHOULD know that our defense spending is lopsided relative to the health-care budget. He SHOULD know that we all could have the health insurance of our military's active and retired members.

    December 2, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Pat

    How about this: If you or your company hires 5% more US workers during 2013 you get to stay on the old Bush tax plan. If not, prepare to pay up. Lets make this a tax incentive rather than a punitive tax.

    December 2, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Phil

    To all those who are constantly pounding down on the plan put forth by the White House, I ask you: what is the alternative plan? Oh, that's right, there isn't one. You are constantly putting down the plan that has been suggested and saying that the White House, or the President, or the Liberals are not willing to compromise. Compromise on what? There has been no plan put forth by House Republicans as of yet. There has been nothing but this vague notion that unruly spending must be cut. Where are these cuts coming from? Once the House puts forward a detailed proposal of what they would like to cut, then we can have an educated discussion about compromise.

    Obviously, tax increases will not solve the defecit alone, however to pretend that they wouldn't have a positive effect on the overall solution is partisan blindness. A real solution should to be a combination of income tax increases (both on the wealthy and middle class, if you ask me), loophole reduction, Capital Gains tax increase, Estate Tax increase, deducation limitations, cut to defense spending, cut to Stimulus spending, revamping of Social Security to improve solvency, and various other smaller spending reforms.

    The defecit is not going to reverse itself overnight, however by putting forth a plan that includes both revenue increases and spending deductions, we can move towards a more fiscally sound future.

    December 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. reldra

    The people of the 8th district of Ohio should recall Boehner. The DOJ should be investigating Norquist. Both of them have too much power to keep trying to ruin the country over their dislike of the president.

    December 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. CAWinMD

    Wallaceboy - how about the Republicans put a proposal on the table so that we can see where the "middle ground is? All we've heard from Republicans is this vague statement that revenue might be able to be increased. Not how, not what revenue, just something. They have not put out a proposal for what spending cuts they want, or how they want to deal with entitlements.

    Obama's proposal is a partisan document that is certainly not going to get passed, but he put a stake in the ground. Let the Republicans put out their own partisan document stake in the ground WITH SPECIFICS, then we'll be able to measure where between those two stakes the middle ground actually is. Until that point, this is all bluster.

    December 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. George

    Bohner u lost control when the tea party took ur job away. Last year u cryed when u went to talks with the president and got a ass kicken from the newly elected tea groupies. Now u see there numbers falling away and ur falling apart. Just quit and be over it before u give all us older people a complex. Confused!!!

    December 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. tammyk tammy

    The deficit needs to be handled incrementally over time. Tax increase on the 2% is the first step that need to happen then cuts in spending to be enacted as the economy recovers. The corporate CEOs have put too many people on the government dole thereby increasing our deficit. When they outsource jobs, people have no choice but to accept food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance. The unemployed no longer contribute to the tax base which is a double whammy on government which a resulting loss of revenue combined with increased need for spending. Any cuts in spending need to be linked to the unemployment rate. When the Republican 'job creators' actually create jobs as they promised, only then should the Democrats concede to cuts in spending. Companies that outsource need to be penalized to make up for the loss of tax revenue from the unemployed and the burden of government spending that results.

    December 2, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. amlcpamaine

    ..."flabbergasted" eh? Boehner's false indignation is tiring and way transparent for the most of us. Everybody knows that his comments are pre-destined and are designed to feed the red meat to the tea party droogs. As Claire McCaskill stated this morning on Meet The Press, Congress can't afford to waste precious time pandering to the "cheap seats of politics."

    Get to work, Boehner, for you're continuing to build a reputation for yourself of being the very worst speaker in the history of the United States of America. The job is NOT political posturing to please the 1%, the job is PUBLIC SERVICE and LEGISLATING.

    December 2, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. conrad

    I sure hope Boener is relplaced as speaker in January!!!

    December 2, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Tom

    The Democrats will take the hit for rasing taxes on the rich, who are the people that donate the big bucks to political campaigns. So Dems will take a hit on the tax increases. Seems fair the Republicans offer a plan for spending cuts to share the political pain. Do the Republicans really expect the Democrats to do all the work and take all the blame?

    December 2, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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