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. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    "Flabbergasted" is a good word used when you're not an economist like Giethner whose graduate degree is to know and understand mathmatics when most of Congress consist of doctors and attorneys. If Americans can't see the problem with this budget negotiation, then we will never have people that are graduates in Math and Science.

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

    II'm flabbergasted that Boehner can't get it through his skull that letting the tax cuts expire is not a concession on his part.

    December 2, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. cbfop

    Social Security and Medicare are enployee and employer paid programs .The government should stay out of them.Cut all aid to illegal Aliens,put welfare people to work in the jobs illegal aliens are taking from American workers,cut all of obama 's socialized medicine programs.

    December 2, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    Quit your idiotic posturing and remember you lost the White House!!! the American people want things done Obama's way, NOT YOUR WAY!!! quit trying to foist a proven failed policy on us and support the president. yes, you can counter, but the 'my way or the highway' attitude that has gripped the republicans since Obama was elected needs to go. time to start obstructing and start governing responsibly. and if you can't do it, resign!

    December 2, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. 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 absur d 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 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. w l jones

    Some of the Republican need to take a course on the blue print ancient civilization lelf us on high to keep a great civilization moving forward by building inforsturtion untile privite section to hire it people. Bless.

    December 2, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. C

    Boehner is flabbergasted, yea ok....However it's not about fiscal cliff proposal, but the fact he and the GOP has to work with Obama, and can't control things we all know the GOP, is so use to doing. That's ok keep it up GOP, and you guys won't see another president from the GOP for another 8 years.....you arrogant little man.......you....

    December 2, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. TommyTT

    Once again the GOP is in full-frontal "NO" and blaming everyone else.

    December 2, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. jefflz

    The Bush tax cuts are responsible for the majority of the debt problem. They should be allowed to expire to permit us to move toward sensible debt reduction. To cut social programs for the elderly and the poor in exchange for the elimination of welfare programs for the rich is both immoral and bad economic policy for the long run.

    December 2, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Namemicmacman

    time to push a few politicians off a cliff if you ask me.....cant do your job...welcome to unemployment land...just sick o the posturing from both sides while we the people keep getting the crap end of the stick. pay attention washington, an american spring will put all of you out on your collective ass!

    December 2, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. DocHollywood

    No, Mr. Boehner, the president does not have to compromise on the issue of the tax rates for the top 2 percent going up. In fact, he really doesn't have to compromise at all. Those last 4 years when he did his best to compromise and getting slapped in the face for it from you and your pact are looking more and more desirable now, huh? But those times are over. I say let all the tax cuts expire. Then reintroduce the cuts for the 98 percent and let you bring up a vote to oppose them. Then the American people will really see what the tea party and the modern republican party are really about.

    December 2, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Rogue351

    GOP tax the Rich because there are not putting there wealth back into the economy. And if the will not help the American worker then someone has to. Instead they buy homes all over the world new Mercedes every year while there employees in some cases can't even eat. Elite rich Americans are greedy stop protecting them. They took 50% of our retirement during the bush era starting the recession it's now time for them to give back, taxe the rich teach them a lesson. The GOP need to start listening to the popular vote or become dinosaurs, extinct . The people have spoken now listen up.

    December 2, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. sbssue1

    I think all people should be taxed 20% across the board. 20% of 100 is more than 20% of 1.00, thus 20 – 25% would be good for all of you folks unless you are the ones standing in line for all the handouts. That's all this is about is the freebies for those who do nothing but complain. Bohner is not better nor no worse than Obama. Arrogance is not becoming matter who you are..........Better yet, empty your bank accounts and send it all to Obama and he would still not be happy. Yes, the Bushes did us all wrong, but we aren't any better today either. Get real.

    December 2, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. sbssue1

    Conrad, he should be our next President...........He does better than anyone of them in office.

    December 2, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. NameCandy-Cane

    It's sad that the republicans want things done their way because their way is the right way. Stop acting like kids and come to an agreement. Republicans let it go.

    December 2, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Candice

    Romney , show us your taxes ...

    December 2, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Newtonslaw

    Boehner was flabbergasted at the proposal and later was dunderheaded by the way it was proposed. Only yesterday Boehner was fliberdigibited by a passing car and discombobulated by the 'I Love Obamacare" bumper sticker. Tomorrow he will be evaluated by a doctor to see why he talks like Daffy Duck.

    December 2, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Candice

    Fiscal cliff , Obama built that ...

    December 2, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Joe citizen abroad

    Boehner's drama-queen statements to the press every other day makes it sound like he's the one who's not being serious. In one breath he says he's heard nothing from the White House, in the next breath he's saying he rejected the most recent WH proposal. Well, which is it? The election's over. He needs to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

    December 2, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Gabbo

    Barry Soetoro – the most divisive president ( note small "p" ) ever.

    December 2, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Bunkie Moon

    If do not obey Obama , you are racist .

    December 2, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. jOE

    In Reply to "JEBBY"
    Clinton had a nice surplus, Bush turned that into a deficit, Obama continued,
    Why? If you are not too blinded by politics, the answers are very obvious,
    1. Bush's tax cuts
    2. Two expensive wars
    The reasonable answer to return the country to fiscal health, again, if you are not too blinded by politics, are obviously,
    1. End the wars, which Obama did (is doing)
    2. End the tax cuts, (which Obama is trying to do)

    December 2, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. GOP = Greed Over People

    You may still hold the House, but only 17 votes are needed for a Dem majority and if they are smart, 17 GOPers will take the life preserver the President is offering, pass the Senate bill and take the tax increase off the table for the 98%, as the House GOP is not capable of passing a clean bill without some abortion amendments.

    So, take what is being offered, or face becoming a regional party representing the "fly over" states with more cows and corn than people, and the Deep South of the Stupid.

    Or not, instead commission a Rasmissen report saying how the GOP will NOT be blamed for going over the cliff, or consult with Rove and determine that Ohio was called too soon as the tsunami of reality washed over him.

    But who are we kidding, you GOPers would be better off just buying a vowel!

    December 2, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    You Americans have been taken for such a ride...
    In Canada, we have a Conservative government that acts fiscally responsible and we are in good shape.
    Obama and this class warfare/1% smokescreen has led you down the path to Greece.
    You have maybe 2-3 more years until inflation takes you and the rest of the world down with it.

    December 2, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Marc Florida

    It appears that the birds are coming home to roost for the Republicans. Maybe Obama has decided to give back what he got from Republicans for 4 years. Franky, the "FIscal Cliff" will affect me but I'm fine with it. I encourage the President to stick to his guns. Either the Rs will be dragged in kicking and screaming or they'll wallow in dust and mud where they belong.

    December 2, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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