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. Ludwig

    Poor wittle Boehner. No one wistens to him. Maybe he needs his woobie to feel bettewr.

    December 3, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Calidip

    Problem with Boner's proposals is that he thinks that a GOP administration is in charge. There are no concessions for a democratic party in charge, and boner is refusing to budge then blame Obama for not caving.

    December 3, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. sayer

    Your team lost, Boehner. President Obama gets more of what he wants than the pubs want. That's how it works. Its time to grow up.

    December 3, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. MediaSELLS

    Yes Boner, go ahead with the GOP crusade to make Obama look bad and see how well it turns out for you... because apparently you forgot about the election your party majorly lost. We have PROOF that not raising taxes on the wealthy HASN'T helped the rest of us and we have PROOF that there has never been a moment in time when Republicans have effectively balanced a budget so where people even get this idea that they can.. is a baseless mystery. They also like to call everything "wasteful spending" but they do their best to avoid specifics because what they really deem as "wasteful" tends to be programs that American people need (because they can't get jobs unless they move to Taiwan and are willing to work for $3.00 an hour) like education, welfare, and medicaid. Yet they never accept responsibility for the fact that THE REPUBLICANS CAUSED THIS ECONOMY IN THE FIRST PLACE VIA : Putting two wars we did not plan for on Uncle Sam's credit card, Not regulating the greedy fat cats on Wall Street, and giving the people who can afford to pay taxes... tax breaks because being rich should be rewarded beyond earnings. Ridiculous. If you voted Republican and honestly believe in what they tell you then don't act mystified as to why they lost the election and are going the way of the do-do and if you have the time, maybe schedule a moment with your Doctor to have your head examined.

    December 3, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. West Coast

    It's simple, Obama is unable to operate within any budget, so he constantly needs more money to spend. Democrats have shot down all attempts at a balanced budget amendment, why should be people be subjected to his failure to be a president? Why should the country continue to bankroll his lack of ability?

    December 3, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Vidyashanti

    Mr. Speaker,
    Americans are flabbergasted to see your arrogance and obstructionist attitude of Republicans. Your party is defeated in the Presidential race and if you don't care for common men your party will be thrown out in 2014. Read the writings on the wall.

    December 3, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. S.R

    The G.O.P and ball baby Boehner are working for the rich and only the rich. It was obvious before the election and it is obvious now. They should be brought up treason charges!

    December 3, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. Evan

    Let the fiscal cliff happen. We need the spending cuts anyway. Forget the Bush tax cuts, Democrats start writing a new bill called the Obama-era tax cuts which cuts taxes for the middle class but not the wealthy. Then let the GOP committ political suicide by daring to vote against it.

    December 3, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. john smith

    Before the election, but during the campaign, the speaker made comments referring to the election tested direction for the country (very optimistic of another victory as in 2010), sounding like the winner will choose the PATH. THEY were talking and sounding like the election REALLY meant something but the WRONG outcome cancels their cooperation. The Obama team is correct for "doubling down" on the revenue increase (1.6 trillion) since the other side has erected barriers/resentment. If no penalties are associated with your behavior, then you have resistance to change.

    December 3, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Smoke and Mirrors

    Well, I guess we know who has supported Boener for all these years. He's got his nose so far up Norquist's butt that he can't tell if it's day or night! Trying to say he cares about the American people is such an obvious lie that only a real moron would believe it.

    December 3, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Dave V. Canada

    Do American politicians realize just how amazingly inept they look to the outside world? How can any Nation look at the US and democracy and determine that it's the better way. Election campaigns take a year or more and rely greatly on public mudslinging. A president gets elected and immediately is told that 49% didn't vote for him and therefore he doesn't represent half of all Americans. Then some guy named Boehner comes along and says the President hast to do whatever HE, in the name of Congress, tells the president to do. And then 4 years later Boehner and his party will criticize the Presidency for not getting the job done.
    In the meantime the US becomes less and less significant in the world stage.
    Compare that to Communist China, a nation that is becoming rapidly more significant on the world stage and without a doubt will be the Nation that others will strive to model themselves after. Elections are held by an inner circle without public mudslinging and the new leader for the next 10 years will be accepted by all accept of course for a relatively small group of dissidents.

    December 3, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Laurie in Spokane

    Oh Boehner, get off it! You know, I know, everyone knows taxes have got to go up. That means for the wealthy also. You and your republican ilk perfectly represent all that is bad in DC – no compromise, my way or the by-way, catering to big business and religious fanatics. I am truly fed up with you – all of you.

    December 3, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Kings on the back row...

    Mr. Boehner and the tea party have been flabbergasted since 6 November –
    ...It seems their feelings were hurt in their LOSS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA....
    ..The tea party will really be hurting in 2014 if they CONTINUE TO BLOCK the PROGRESS OF THE U.S. ECONOMY...

    December 3, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. VEW2012

    As an Ohioan, I am pretty much "flabbergasted" by Boehner and the rest of his knuckle-headed GOP cohorts. What does this man not understand about the fact the GOP has lost 2 presidential elections? Regardless of every shabby trick (like putting up alternative sham budgets, calling them the President's budget, then voting them down overwhelmingly) they still lost.

    The American public is tired of this stonewalling, and one-up gamesmanship.

    The president has listed areas where he expects sizable cuts can be he is waiting while Bonehead cries, fiddles, and whines for the GOP meet him halfway and state which cuts they want made. Compromise cannot be reached until they bring their ideas to the table.

    December 3, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. jpmichigan

    The Presidency is a political office and the Chief executive must sell his program. Obama needs to learn Democracy – which with is self is a noble idea, but it isn't necessarily a noble process. ObamA, second term, needs to show him capable and willling to promote democracy through compromise and neogotiation - on a face to face meeting and not through the media. Going through the media or others shows a lack of leadership and governing skills. Raising the rates on higher income will not bring in the revenue Obama expects to further his spending goals, what will is cutting the deductions the wealthy use. Rate increase, just mean they will increase their deductins and still pay lower taxes. This fact is a no-brainer. Wealthy sshould have to pay higher price for the use of medicare. Watch though the raising of rates on devidents for many middle class have savings invested for retirement and high tax on dividents would hurt them. THERE ARE SOLUTION< JUST SIT DOWN AND DISCUSS THEM. Republicans need to up a vote on their solutions in the house.

    December 3, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Jill-IN

    We ae flabbergasted at Boehner. He is still waging war against the president everyday, and against all of the American people. His mantra is Hell No – his way or no way. He is sickening.

    December 3, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Chris Weber

    Go over the will hurt a little, but we will at least be starting to fix the long-term problem that so many people refuse to acknowledge. Don't look over there.......

    December 3, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. rollaman

    I've said for many months now that there won't be any resolution to the fiscal cliff and resolution to spending, no matter who won the election or controlled congress. This country seems to, unfortunately, be going down the tubes, because of lack of real leadership in congress/whitehouse, and lack of understanding of what the real issues are by the common folk. Greece is going to blow up, and I think the USA will follow along. This country has WAY too much debt and no clear sign of reigning in spending!

    December 3, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -West Coast

    It's simple, Obama is unable to operate within any budget, so he constantly needs more money to spend. Democrats have shot down all attempts at a balanced budget amendment, why should be people be subjected to his failure to be a president? Why should the country continue to bankroll his lack of ability?
    #1- The GOP has never been able to operate within a budget ( " Deficits don't matter."- Dick Cheney).
    #2- The GOP blew a budget surplus with the only tax cuts ever passed during wartime.
    #3- The country made it quite clear a few weeks ago that they don't trust the GOP: the only thing that saved the House for the GOP was the wonderful job they did in gerrymandering districts together to protect their majority, and they still lost seats.

    The GOP still believes the false premise that their failure in the last election lay in packaging, not content. Wrong. They lost because they are a joke in terms of a real alternative to the Democrats, who want to see the problems solved without re-engineering the country into something that only exists in an Ayn Rand novel. The GOP is no longer a party of serious, pragamatic polblem-solvers, they are a party that caters to the fantasies of rich, out-of-touch old men who see Chile as a good taxation model, and don't give a damn about the stability of the country. If they ahd their way, we'll end up like Mexico.

    December 3, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. brian in denver

    Ah. Faux News reports Boehner is flabbergasted. Now there's some breaking news!

    December 3, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Jared

    I think don't Boehner quite understands the concept of negotiation. Not the smartest cookie in the House is he. The GOP is going to have a rough ride two years from now if they don't learn this concept asap.

    December 3, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. CaptD

    I remember Boehner saying he got 85% of everything he wanted in negotiations last year and declined the deal. You have no leg to stand on this year, so you did this to the country when you didn't accept the deal last year. There are no do overs! Thank the Tea-Party and idoits like Cantor who pursuaded Boehner to walk away from 95% of what the GOP wanted. This year he will be lucky to get 40%! The GOP is short sighted, they listened to FOX and thought they had the election in the bag, so they walked away from the deal. Yes Boehner, you can start crying now, at least you High School won the state championship in football!

    December 3, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. rs

    If Boehner and the Republicans had actually done anything in the past four years to better the lives of a majority of Americans, I might be tempted to listen with a more sympathetic ear. We know hoever that we got no jobs bills. We got ultra-radical social issue bills (anti-birth control and anti-abortion primary), essentially bills against things that are completely legal and settled law.

    This was all played out in the election- their candidate ran on further reducing tax rates on the rich (and slandering the poor and middle classes), and they lost- they lost big. They even lost seats in the House, and the Senate. Probably gerrymandering and their stae level voter suppression laws kpt the House in their hands- not their policies.

    Look, suicide is ugly. I think weshould always point out the obvious- that couselling, negotiation, and rational thought are always better alternatives than killing ones slf. However, if Boehner and the GOP want to do just that, the rest of us are powerless to sway their desires.

    Positioning themselves as the party that supports welfare for the rich- but not the poor, or the unemployed; as the party that supports creating that welfare of of the backs of retirees, veterans and the diasabled; as the party that fvors a climate where the rich get richer (see CNN/Money's headline story on more record profits), over th rights, and benefits of working class America, then so be it.

    You'll be dead by the end of this decade.

    December 3, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. wandrel

    Wake up and listen to the people. They are speaking loud and clear yet Boehner cannot hear them! He needs respect the people's wishes or get out of there – he is definitely the holdup!

    December 3, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. skarphace

    If no deal is reached, the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy will end. If a deal is reached, the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy will end. Either way, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will end, so you may and well get used to the fact that the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy will end.

    Understand, Boehner? No need to be flabbergasted when it is quite simple, really.

    December 3, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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