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. Broken man

    Go off the cliff. It is the only compromise both parties have made in the last 5 years. It will give both parties what they want. Higher taxes to produce more revenue (Democrats). Cost cuts to lower the budget (Republicans). It will also give the American people what they want. Republicans out of business come the next election cycle.

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

    So you want the President to take the Romney tax plan even though such plan was rejected by the electorate on Nov 6? Yeah, good luck with that.

    December 2, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. jefflz

    Republicans who give undying loyalty to Grover Norquist and his "No Tax" pledge instead of giving their loyalty to the American people are guilty of violation of their oath of office if not treason.

    December 2, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Bunkie Moon

    We need to face the facts . Old rich white men have ruled this country long enough . We as progresive citizens think poor minority people have more education and experiance to make descisions for collectivism and fairness . Rich people needs to pay for poor people to live , pot needs to be legalized , non-citizens need the right to vote , and gay marriage should be normal . Only Progresives will lead us to a poor , but peaceful 21st century !

    December 2, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    TommyTT

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

    That and they are too afraid of their leaders Norquist and Limbaugh. This new Republican Party of fools unable to think for themselves is as absolutely disgusting and pathetic as they are un American.

    December 2, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. FactCheck

    Get ready to loose more seats in 2014 Mr Speaker.

    December 2, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Huh

    Stll the GOP reps are showing their allegiance , not to America and what is best for all but to the pledges to big money donor groups. Man up. Break with you minority pledge groups, which by the way the majority of your constituents were unaware you signed and what it meant. Yes you lost tje WH and still retain the Senate. Keep behaving like this and you lose the Senate and become irrelevant. No one wants one party gov't but the GOP is making that a reality by their allegiance to outdated pledges and calling it representative.

    December 2, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Benlinus

    That's a great idea Boehner, roll over and play dead if you have not already figured out your party is in critical condition; as it is most of us want that party to have a DNR. We spoke, you lost GTF out of the way, about time Obama grew a set of balls.

    December 2, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Joe Stecco

    I can't believe the stupidity of this administration. They want as part of the deal to allow the President to raise the debt ceiling going forward without approval from congress. Basically making Obama a dictator who can keep borrowing from China. We cannot afford to keep borrowing from China! This is what this is all about. If you or I spent 2x what we brought in we should not be looking at borrowing more money from China or asking more people for money. The first thing we would do is look to cut our spending. If letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those over 250k is part of the deal so be it! But to also add all of those other taxes in are part of the deal without any real cuts to spending we are doomed. This will effect what is left of the middle class and the poor. Their will be less jobs. Their is no doubt about it!

    December 2, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Rogere

    The crazy thing is that the solutions are so simple. It's just that these knuckleheads the we the people elected can't agree on anything. This whole compromise thing does not work when you come in with preconceived ideas and demands and you deny reality. If you want to lose weight you can either eat better or less, exercise more, or better still, do both. In essence this is what Democrats want while Republicans want only one solution. More revenue through closing loopholes vs higher tax rates achieves the same thing just from potentially different people. At least raising taxes means the money comes from those who can afford it.

    December 2, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Joe Stecco

    I can't believe how ridiculous this administration is. They want as part of the deal to allow the President to raise the debt ceiling going forward without approval from congress. Basically making Obama a dictator who can keep borrowing from China. We cannot afford to keep borrowing from China! This is what this is all about. If you or I spent 2x what we brought in we should not be looking at borrowing more money from China or asking more people for money. The first thing we would do is look to cut our spending. If letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those over 250k is part of the deal so be it! But to also add all of those other taxes in are part of the deal without any real cuts to spending we are doomed. This will effect what is left of the middle class and the poor. Their will be less jobs. Their is no doubt about it!

    December 2, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Another former republican

    Can someone intelligent please explain to me why the middle class and the poor who pay taxes in many forms and who both get by with less and less each day are expected to somehow shoulder the tax burden while the 2% who can go out and buy a $50,000 wristwatch at the drop of a hat are somehow unfairly burdened with an increase in their taxes? The rest of us have also worked very hard but without a silver spoon to feed us at childbirth or some serious luck in life we seem to be getting further away from the top each day. I'm waiting for the 2% to say, " let them eat cake" any day now. This country started because of the issue of not being represented and what was considered an unfair tax burden on the majority, not the minority. Those using their power and wealth to purchase all of our politicians and dictate what they want should be kept aware of that fact before they see the streets fill with the majority.

    December 2, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Sagebrush Shorty

    Boehner is correct unfortunately. Timothy Geithner (Tiny Tim in Obama's Scrooge scenario) has no business telling anyone what will be accepted or not. He is, supposedly, the Treasury Secretary and not an Obama flunky. I hope the Republicans have enough backbone to tell him and his boss to forget it.

    December 2, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. SOLESUVIVOR

    Speaker 'BONEHEAD"is the one that needs to be pushed over the cliff.What an arrogant self important demagogue.We the American people want the Bush tax cuts to expire,EXCEPT for the rich.I'm not saying that 250,000 a year for a family is rich,so I'm willing to debate that point.But a quarter of a million dollar yearly income is a lot more than the average American family makes in a year.Keep it up John your reelection is starting to look more and more like a going away party.

    December 2, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Another former republican

    Capitalism has been replaced with Greedism in the United States

    December 2, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Did republicans Learn Nothing?

    This is a no lose situation for Democrats! The republicans are firmly entrenched behind 2% of the voting public.

    Libertarians will soon be the "other" party behind Democrats!

    December 2, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Youvegottabekidding

    1> No one elected Grover Norquist. Signing a pact with him is tantamount to treason against the people of the United States.
    2> The Republicans lost the white house and many seats in both houses. Get a clue. We don't want your brand of politics anymore.
    3> Presenting the same tired old song and dance about budget cuts, closing loopholes and attacking "entitlements" is not compromise. It is stubbornness built out of fear of becoming more irrelevant.
    4> Angry White Men are no longer the majority in this country. You are the ones at the back of the bus now. Sit down and shut up.
    An old saw states one should lead , follow, or get out of the way. Time to do the third one Boehner.

    December 2, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. TM

    Awwww, Speaker McWeepy is upset that the WH is treating him the way he has been treating them for the LAST FOUR YEARS!

    Maybe things would be better if he and McConnell hadn't decided to pathologically oppose everything proposed by the WH based on nothing but partisan spite. As bad as things are now, the voters realize that things have gotten better DESPITE the Party of "NO!" and it's time that the Grand Old Tea Party grew up and started working FOR the country instead of AGAINST it. And YES,that means that they will have to share credit when things go well, and shoulder some blame when things go wrong. Out here in the "real world" we call that being responsible.

    December 2, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. Alan

    Obama is rediculous, he is obvious a puppet for Move On, and the fartherst left liberal agenda. Republicans WAKE UP! Get off the Women's issues, treat Immigration correctly, and win next time! You lost on Women and Immigration! WAKE UP, stop blamng others.

    December 2, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. meow meow meow

    First off.....How can you take anyone seriously who goes on "Fox News." ??? .....and second.....this man seems to think that HE is the President. BTW...Newtonslaw, Thank you for the chuckle! :)

    December 2, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Hillcrester

    Boehner is intellectually challenged. He doesn't realize he needs to fold his losing handl

    December 2, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. poopmeister

    I love how the original bargain was rejected by Boehner during the last fiscal cliff and this time he was willing to agree to a deal that resulted in a higher increase in taxes than the last time. So Obama comes out with a deal that puts that one to shame. He should have gone with the original deal, stupid politicians, always looking to the present. He should jump on this deal because the GOP will loose control of the house next and he will loose his seat. The american people have spoken and they want the rich to pay their fair share.....I think that the republicans can run on that during the next election and will come out with a better result.

    December 2, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Another former republican

    Joe Citizen abroad

    A Congressman getting to work? ROTFLMAO ( 2013 Congressional schedule 136 days, how many American Citizens are aware of how little they even have to show up each year for great pay, fantastic benefits , retirement, perks, etc, it's no wonder they are mostly lawyers (LOL) )

    December 2, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Boehner's flabbergasted? Perhaps if he started dealing with reality he wouldn't be:

    – President Obama won reelection, with a popular vote margin exceeding 4 million (a million more than GW Bush had in 2004).

    – President Obama's Electoral College majority was 332 to Mittens' 206; compare this to GW Bush's 286 to John Kerry's 251

    – Not only did Democrats pick up two seats in the Senate (from 53 to 55), Democratic senatorial candidates got a total of 10 million more votes than their Republican opponents

    – While Republicans retained their majority in the House, that majority shrunk by 7-8 fewer seats. And even though Democrats didn't regain control, their candidates got about 1 million more votes than Republican House candidates.

    So, Boehner, start accepting reality and accept that President Obama's policies are what America wants. A majority of American millionaires and billionaires (67% according to the Wall Street Journal) WANT to pay more in taxes, along with a majority of middle and lower class American workers.

    You know, Boehner, do THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE – ALL 100% OF US!!!

    December 2, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Mish

    Hey Whiny McSpraytan,

    Your party lost the election. You're lucky you're being invited to the table at all, which you know damned well is more than your party would be doing for the opposition if you had won. The way I see it, you have three choices:

    1) Accept the more-than-reasonable compromise being offered.
    2) Roll over completely, get out of the way, and let your opposition do exactly what they want.
    3) Continue to play obstructionist politics, causing the nation to suffer, and watch your party suffer even worse losses in the next election.

    What's it going to be?

    Sincerely,
    We The People

    December 2, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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