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. Name slugger

    There needs to be compromise on all sides. Taxes need to go up for everyone and services/entitlements need to be reigned in. Just because Obaama won re-election, doesn't mean its only his way. We all collectively must share the pain.

    December 2, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. soundsok

    Very noble.

    December 2, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. RainCityLady

    Oh, he's flabbergasted, huh? I'm flabbergasted that the GOP are still bellowing the same old theme, which is the side that won must compromise, but the losers get their way no matter what. Obama has nothing holding him back this time, and his base is expecting him to do what he promised whether the losers want it or not. I'm sick of Boehner and McConnell and their smirking and outrage. After all, theirs is the party who put the best interests of the country aside and voted against everything, when they announced their sole purpose was to see that Obama didn't get a second term. How did that work out for you? I hope you get more karma coming your way in the next four years. You richly deserve it.

    December 2, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. jon

    The president wants 1.6 trillion dollars in tax hikes and 400 billion in spending cuts..does that seem balanced?

    December 2, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. CaliforniaBC

    Polls show quite decisively that the public is behind Obama and the Democrats and will hold the Republicans to blame if we go over the cliff.

    Perhaps Boehner needs to consider that before trying to hold that the tough stance.

    December 2, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Crushing d3feat

    Boehner the cry baby has got to go. He no longer represents the will of the people (that is if he ever did).

    December 2, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Johnny Canuck

    Britain's ruling class put the Boer War on credit, and refused to pay needed Taxes. That cancer spread in WW1. The Rich called for balanced budgets by Spending cuts for the poor, taxes on the middle class and no capital gains or estate taxes on them. Wanna guess how that worked out? History may not repeat itself – but it sure rhymes.

    December 2, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. cj

    The voices of the 2% will be outweighed by the voices of the 98%. Republicans are out of touch.

    December 2, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @Gabbo: No, the division has come loud and long and clear from Republicans who refuse to accept that President Obama was elected and reelected by a majority of Americans.

    The Repubs refuse to do the will of the people; they would rather tear us apart and tear our nation down. If you think they care about anyone except the few millionaires and billionaires who funded the 2012 campaign – WHICH THEY LOST – than you deserve to continue to be lied to and exploited by the GOP.

    December 2, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Another former republican

    End tax cuts for all corporations who are and have shipped jobs overseas, provide tax cuts to companies who employ Americans and others who bring jobs back. It's that simple

    More American workers=larger tax base

    December 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Wealthy folks profitted by the two wars, let them pay for them. The elderly and children and disabled did not benefit at all. The disabled vets certainly did not benefit.

    Why don't the repubs want to pay the bill they ran up with 2 wars??? Irresponsible little children.

    December 2, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. laura

    Speaker Boehner used the first four years of an Obama to obstruct, blame and whine. Looks like he hope he can do the same this time around. But there is a major difference that Speaker Boehner isn't taking into account. President Obama tried to be nice, and since he CANNOT be re-elected anymore, has learned his lesson. Now the Chicago-style Hit-them where-it-hurts politician is free to come out and destroy what is left of the GOP. And best of all...he doesn't really have to do much of anything, but sit back and let them implode from within. So we go off the "fiscal cliff". Then January 1st, there is Nancy Pelosi taking the floor to introduce legislation to "reduce the tax burden on the middle class, those earning under 250K. The Democrats take the high ground as "protectors of the Middle class" and the GOP is left with egg on their faces if they try to add on tax reduction for the wealthy which Obama would veto. Then the same bill without the the wealthy tax deductions gets re-introduced in the Senate. After the GOP gets dragged through the gutter by the American Middle class. And come election time 2 years from now? What chance would the GOP have of holding onto the House then? Pretty much NONE. Despite their "gerrymandering crusade" of the past 8 years. The GOP had better bow down gracefully now and take whatever crumbs Obama is willing to give them. Before they lose it all.

    December 2, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Squigman

    Boehner, is nothing more than the leader of the oh and ah squad. He represents the dinosaurs of the past, with the same projection and force of actors from the silent movie era. This creep and his party are responsible for the fiscal cliff. Need you be reminded of two (count em), two unfunded wars. Social security and medicare have been targets of the republicans for years. The two wars gave the republicans a chance to bring them to the forefront, after squandering all other resources. The people are being played like cheap band instruments.

    December 2, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Bobbie

    Republicans like Boehner have spent their entire lives working to destroy the US economy, so why would they ever willingly work with Democrats to fix the problems they created? The answer is they won't.

    December 2, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. Cogito

    I'm not exactly a big fan of the Democrats, but in my mind, this never-ending Republican obstructionism amounts to nothing more than treason, as do the actions of their overlord master, Grover.

    December 2, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. k

    Obama is the absolute worst president this country has ever seen...or should I say Mr.Kenya!!!

    December 2, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Anthony in California

    Is this the SAME John Boehner who said he got "90 PERCENT OF WHAT HE WANTED" out of the debt ceiling deal. The same one that created this Fiscal Cliff???

    This man and his party are playing checkers while Obama has been playing chess. Now they don't understand why they lost the election, nor do they get that they have backed themselves into a corner on this issue.

    Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire like they were suppose to. Cut entitlement for the rich.

    December 2, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Name

    Republicans standing in the way of America's majority wishes. Who are he and his party representing?

    December 2, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Pete

    Boehners flabbergasted and he thinks nobody takes them seriously,how pathedic..When the president put down a 10-1 cuts to revenue raise and you,McConnell walked away laughing two years ago what do you expect.And I may add its your political backs are against the wall this time guys and what goes around comes around,sound familiar doesn't it!!You only have your jobs to lose not the president and yes he can let the Bush tax extentions expire and create a bill for only the middleclass and poor .You know you'll have to sign it or it'll be political suicide for your republicans and you know I'm right!!Norquist pledge is also toast as well because you have to work to get this economy working again or his pledge won't matter because none of you will be there will yah after midterms...So the choice is yours Boehner,quit acting like a spoiled brat who always gets his way or go home permanently because you'll like I said be gone after the midterms and then Americans will see something done,won't they!!

    December 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Another former republican

    Stop giving Billions in free money to foreign Countries (Israel Included). It's that simple

    December 2, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. javabanana

    The probelms in the US right now is that MORE PEOPLE rather live off free money, warefare checks, unemployment checks, etc. I have seen peopple moved to the US with tons of cash, paid off their dream home, not working, and then they are collecting warefare checks from the government. ALL the HARD WORKING Americans are feeding these free loaders. ENOUGH Already!!

    December 2, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. myway

    Boehner needs to come to terms he has to disappoint some of the billionaire GOP supporters who bought themselves 2 tax cuts during the past decade via the GOP controlled WH and congress. One of these cuts was shamelessly benefiting the top 1% only.

    The flawed theory that cutting taxes will expand the economy and the top 1% is needing a tax incentive to keep investing in the US economy is just plain hogwash. Starving the government out of existence doesn't work either.

    Time to get real. Remember, it's the same government you had to beg to bail out the banks that were dropping like one day flies in 2008? The government is good for some things so quit acting like we don't need it.

    December 2, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Jack

    John, Get out of the way and stop playing games that likely go all the way back to habits you formed when you sold polymers. When GWB was reelected I specifically remember him saying he was going to spend some of his political capital. In the spirit of a holiday meal John my friend "what's good for the goose is good for the gander", in other words step aside plastic boy.

    December 2, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Sarah

    Since when has Congress, in and of itself, been the most powerful entity in politics, except Grover Norquist and the NRA of course?

    December 2, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Floyd from Illinois

    Another day, another Boner statement that he's ignoring the tidal wave of reality rolling toward him.

    Eventually – soon – the GOP will have it demonstrated to them that reality can onl be ignored until it crushes you.

    December 2, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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