December 2nd, 2012
11:25 AM ET
8 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. Mark Taylor

    Republicans still hold the house through chicanery and redrawing districts, that is the only thing that is keeping them in power in the US House of Representatives.

    December 3, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  2. TomK

    IF what Speaker Boehner says is true, then maybe it's time for HIM to show just how big he really is and make an attempt to 'fill the shoes of Tip Oneil" and 'get a deal done'. Sadly, I think this is more about posturing for the cameras than anything else. He and Mitch McConnell seem bent on doing whatever necessary to sidetrack any negotiations.

    December 3, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  3. PBJStat

    People need to stop quoting the democratic and media talking points and look at the facts. Let them stop the Bush tax breaks for the 2% wealthiest which I support. Do you really think that's going to solve the poblem? Where do you think Obama is going to get the other 1.5 trillion in new taxes? From the 98%. Stop drinking the cool aid – everyone is about to get hit and you don't see what's right in front of your face. I'm glad to see this happen – you deserve to be rewarded for your vote – Merry Christmas!

    December 3, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  4. phill1962


    $1.2 trillion deficit that is increasing every year. I give you your $1.6 trillion tax increase (all on the wealthy btw) over ten years or ~ $160 billion /year. We are still run a deficit of $1.0 trillion per year. The fact the the BO/Geitner proposal contained no serious cuts in government spending reflects the fact that they are just playing games. BO's own committee on deficit reduction recommended 1/3 or 1/4 dollars of tax increases to spending cuts. Based on those recommendations BO should be putting forth $1.6 trillion in tax cuts ( as proposed) with $4.8 to $6.4 trillion in spending cuts. The fact that they werent included shows how insencere BOs proposal was!

    December 3, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  5. beargulch

    This is a problem solely of the Republican's making, from the way they got the Bush tax cuts enacted to the Grover Norquist pledge. They gave up governing a few decades ago and no longer know what the word "compromise" means.

    December 3, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  6. NB Gerry

    I agree with the majority of the posters here - Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire - ALL OF THEM!!! You keep harping how "these tax cuts help the wealthy" so its time to clean house! You know you don't want the "irritant" of the "Bush tax cuts" still being around in some form right? I mean you whine and cry about "W" all the time. Time to clear it all out. NOW!

    December 3, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  7. Kawiman

    The Dall sheep: A proud and majestic animal that is sure footed and seeks the high ground. The Norquist sheep: A subservient animal that avoids the high ground and seeks dependency

    December 3, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  8. MrRickinNH

    Just why should anyone take republicans seriously?? They have no adjenda... other than defense spending tax cuts for the wealthy, and keeping religious beliefs in government!

    December 3, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  9. Purush

    Poor John. Still fighting. Remember buddy.The saying is – When ..... is inevitable lie down and enjoy !!!

    December 3, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  10. notea4me

    I hope he doesn't start crying....

    December 3, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  11. PWS

    I think GOP now stands for Grand Ostrich Party. Just like the market will decide in capitalism, the people will (and have) decided in democracy.

    December 3, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  12. snowdogg

    JB... grow up!

    December 3, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  13. Mark

    The tax cuts expire as part of a compromise, or...
    the tax cuts expire as part of the fiscal cliff.

    The uncompromising GOP aren't going to get their way. And I'm fine with either result.

    December 3, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  14. Gary Lawrence

    The first rule of fixing things I learned a long time ago. That was "BEWARE OF AMAZING INFORMATION. Before you can use amazing information, you must first overcome your amazement." Boehner needs to overcome his amazement, and that should be easy. There was no big surprise here other than the WH didn't capitulate as in the past.

    December 3, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. Guest

    The dems would rather punish 98% in order to press their social agenda on 2%. Funny now that are suddenly for the Bush cuts when they have been against them for years. It's all politics. And because Oblabla won the election doesnt mean there isnt a large portion of our nation that still oppose his politics and agenda, nor does it mean that conservatives dont have a platform. It isnt majority rules in this nation. CUT SPENDING AND STOP WASTING LIBERALS!

    December 3, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  16. Bmitchell

    Boehner is aghast about the White House not bending to his will... the rest of us ask, "Will you get off your "soap box" and start working with the rest of the government to create an achievable solution before time runs out?" Stop the rhetoric and do what is right for the U.S.A.

    December 3, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  17. Steve

    The cliff sounds good! Taxes on everyone. Actually the Bush tax cuts helped lower/middle class far more than wealthy, so the lower/middle will need to pay an average of just north of $2k more a year once we roll those back, everyone has some skin in the game! Cuts are weak but at least they are across the board. It will be especially pleasant to see the whining Pentagon have to deal with their cuts. Best part is congress has to do nothing! Happy new tax year all!

    December 3, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  18. akmjenkins

    I wonder what Boehner's idea of negoatiating is...

    December 3, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  19. lamprey

    Obama is a Scrooge. He's dooming America

    December 3, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  20. Rhonda Rahn

    I am sick of posters here saying that Democrats get Welfare. Don't you know that it is THE RED STATES WHO ARE THE WELFARE STATES? The GOP takes Welfare.

    December 3, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  21. Mrs Time

    It doesn't take much to flabbergast Boehner. It is time to work with the President for the 99%.

    December 3, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  22. JohnnyGenius

    Was Boehner and the rest of the GOP asleep on election night? Time to wake up Johnboy, you lost and the American people want you to compromise.

    December 3, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  23. pazke

    Yea, Boehner, now you know what everyone else has felt like over the past four years. The administration has been trying to compromise with the GOP for four years and every time we take a step closer to them, they take another step back. Well, we are all tired of your games and we aren't going to play them anymore.

    December 3, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  24. Fheal

    And I'm, " ‘flabbergasted’ at Boehner:....and his AAA bond reducing performance.

    December 3, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  25. Checkbook Math

    Of course, Obama-clause won. More people now want to receive than take responsibility for their own actions. Why, for example, should I have to pay to forgive a student loan when the "student" studied art while drinking Star-bucks but now can find a job? And yes, there are far more people making less than $250K so, of course, Obama-clause won. It's checkbook math folks, raising taxes won't solve the problem. Stop wasteful spending FIRST.

    December 3, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
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