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. PeterD

    More appropriate Headline – Obama is Fooling American People.

    December 3, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Ken in MD

    When are these people going to stop the lies, the name calling, and the political gamesmanship, and do the jobs they were hired to do? One side makes a proposal, the other side counters, and they negotiate and compromise to come up with a bill that meets most of the needs of both sides. That's their job. There should be nothing "off the table." This political grandstanding is helping nobody, except possibly their own re-election bid (which seems to be the only thing that matters to anyone anymore).

    December 3, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. drkent3

    "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,'" As opposed to "Roll over or we will stall all negotiations"? How is it possible that the WH has made a proposal, yet Boehner says "...the White House has responded with virtually nothing"? Because the Republican propaganda machine is still in full force, despite losing the last election due to it. Fox News and the Republican party are doubling down. They didn't lose because their core principles are at odds with the average American... they lost because they weren't 'conservative enough', so they need to make the WH Roll Over (in Boehner's words). I used to just be a bit annoyed at the current crop of Republican leaders – but now I am becoming infuriated.

    December 3, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Steve D

    Unlike the mortgage meltdown, we manufactured the Fiscal Cliff ourselves. Sort of like a husband and wife saying ,
    " Well look honey, if we can't get along by the first of the year, let's just blow our brains out" How rediculous is our government and it's leaders? If the Fiscal Cliff takes place, we should have a special election to replace the enire House and Senate.

    December 3, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Kerry

    I don't think President is calling their bluff. Going over the fiscal cliff will in fact help the debt problem. It will be interesting to see just how quickly we pay it down once that happens. And as before, the GOP will get blamed by the middle classes and majority of the nation.

    December 3, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. rad666

    Time for Boehner to hide out in a tanning table.

    December 3, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. pburkart

    It's simple. President Obama and his team have learned from their mistakes. When they came into office and faced the 800,000 jobs lost per month. They went to Congress with the "actual" amount of a stimulus package that they thought would turn the country around. Then the republicans widdled them down to a package that just barely kept us above water for the next 4 years. If they had gotten the package they wanted, the economy would have been in a much better position than it is today.

    So this time around, they are taking a different approach. They've started the negotiations with a number that is "unreasonable" to end up at the number they want.

    Lesson Learned!

    December 3, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Robert A in Gilbert, Az.

    Shame on you Mr. Boehner. We voted in Obama, not Romney. Didn't anyone tell you? We support increasing taxes on the wealthy, just as Warren Buffett suggested. I guess we actually should be thankful your so stupid, next election your party should lose at least 60 or 70 seats in the House. And just imagine if Santoreum runs in 4 years! He just might get 104 electoral votes.

    December 3, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Huckleberry Hound

    Who cares what Droopy thinks.

    December 3, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "If the Fiscal Cliff takes place, we should have a special election to replace the enire House and Senate."

    Sentiment like that is precisely why the GOP/Teatrolls will continue to delay delay delay. They have no real leverage or bargaining power in this fight this time...other than delay delay delay so that they make EVERYONE involved look bad. "If we're going down, we're taking you with us."

    December 3, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Sniffit

    "Boehner WON and will be speaker for the next 2 years"

    That's really questionble. The GOP/Teatrolls, despite maintaining a smaller majority than they started with, did not win the popular vote in terms of House races. They maintained their majority solely because of their gerrymandered districts, not the will of the majority of people who voted. At best, Boehner is in the position that they wished they could put Obama in...winning based on the electoral college but not the popular they could have claim that he has no mandate. Too bad for them he won the popular vote and it's the House GOP/Teatrolls who have no mandate to obstruct.

    December 3, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. DDW

    Boehner doesn't get it. The problem isn't with the Obama, it's with his own caucus. Until the GOP learns how to negotiate instead of my way or the highway, nothing will get done. I believe after the last four years, Obama has had it with them and has painted them in a corner. If the GOP allows taxes to increase on every household in America, after 2014 there will not be any Republicans left in congress. In my humble opinion that would probably be a good thing.

    December 3, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Ed1

    The new Congress was elected again to stop the out of control spending and that's what there are doing.

    How comes it's greedy to want to keep what you earned but not when you take somebody else's money that's what the Democrats and people with their hands out are saying.

    Keep it up and we will be just like Greece and Spain more government handouts with less people working.

    December 3, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. rs


    really? One guy is the President of the United States. The other is a waistoid from backwater, Ohio.

    December 3, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Bessy

    I say, go over the cliff and then fix it. The wealthy have to pay more and that is all there is to it.

    December 3, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "Please explain what the difference is between raising rates (Obama) and reducing loopholes/deductions (Boehner) if they produce the same revenue?"

    Raising rates: guaranteed revenue increase based on math.

    Lower rates while cutting loopholes/deductions (because that's what the GOP/Teatrolls are insisting on): Mittens ran on this nonsense and lost. It is based entirely on a vague, ideological promise that if we lower rates while cutting back on loopholes and deductions, it will magically generate so much economic growth that revenue increases. The historical record contains no evidence that this works. NONE. Moreover, when we start taling about loopholes and deductions, it very quickly becomes apparent that there aren't enough of them that don't effect the middle-class taht the middle-class would be safe from the GOP/Teatrolls' efforts to keep shifting all of the nation's wealth upwards.

    December 3, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. truthseeker

    What this article doesn't mention is that in the WH's bill the proposed new spending is larger than the proposed cuts.

    December 3, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. chupacabra

    I realy wanted America to stay a two party country but it looks like the Republicans are self distructing.

    December 3, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. scooter

    This is a done deal. The President is willing to take cuts to entitlements while many in his party would like to not have those cuts. What is the GOP willing to do? NOTHING, yet again. Surprise surprise. The GOP is too busy with their hands in the pants of the monied elite to give a rip about the United States. They obviously could not care less about the average American.

    December 3, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Jesus Christ Superstar

    I think he's just confused because he thought Obama was going to take his drink order then go plow some more fields.

    December 3, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Bill, NY

    We need to cut military spending. Most people would be shocked(maybe not) to learn that a substantial amount of the defense budget just goes into peoples pockets in the form of huge comissions, kick backs and tremendous late fees that are in just about every contract(not to mention the theft and fraud). They cannot use the old fear mongering. There are so many nukes out there that even someone with an IQ of 40 knows that today if you set one off, they may all be set off. We need to stop this foolish war on drugs that drains resources and has allowed trillions of dollars to go to the cartels.

    December 3, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Bob

    "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."

    Crybaby Johnny just can't accept the FACT he has to actually COMPROMISE, not just make terorristic demands to get what he wants or shut the economy down.

    December 3, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. BSH

    Obama's proposal would add trillions to the national debt in his next term of office, and trillions more down the road. That's why his proposal is so ridiculous.

    December 3, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. Larry L

    Jackson Flaherty

    Let the Demos run the boat. It will sink. And our nation will fall into chaos. The Welfare babies will be the least able to survive; they will die off, the Dems will be irrelevant and the real citizens will rule again.
    I just copied the above posting as a means of expanding on the obvious... The Republican Party needs a better system than reliance on a base comprised of poorly informed radicals fired-up on Fox News sound bites. These folks may be easy to manipulate but do you want them running the Party?

    As a sort of progressive-with-libertarian-leanings I appreciate some of the old-school conservative ideology. Unfortunately, the GOP left that all behind when they decided to rely upon xenophobia, homophobia, bigotry, and fear to capture a base that otherwise would have no interests in the economic part of the platform. Clearly, the corporate leaders and ultra-rich need some method to get the masses to cast votes for Republican candidates. Greed, guns, gays and God may not be a path that works for the long-haul.

    December 3, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Florida Joe

    TYPICAL All they offer is the same nonsense that Romney proposed and was DEFEATED
    Boner get over it, The President is Obama......he won The people voted for HIS ideas not ROMNEY's

    December 3, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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