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. jovin_aka_kevin

    Boehner needs to call the bluff and let Obama own this. Obama has no intention of negotiating. He is spiking the ball again.

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

    Bobama has no intention of cutting ANY spending. The Repuplicans should walk away from the talks and let Bobama take us over the cliff. It will reduce the deficit.

    December 2, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Barb

    sbssue1, I totally agree! I still support McCains idea (999) of taxing spending – not earning. This encourages working and saving; those who receive the government checks can still pay back in when they spend it on TVs and cellphones. But let's work together and move on!!

    December 2, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Another former republican

    I think all people should be taxed 20% across the board. 20% of 100 is more than 20% of 1.00, thus 20 – 25% would be good for all of you folks unless you are the ones standing in line for all the handouts. That's all this is about is the freebies for those who do nothing but complain. Bohner is not better nor no worse than Obama. Arrogance is not becoming matter who you are..........Better yet, empty your bank accounts and send it all to Obama and he would still not be happy. Yes, the Bushes did us all wrong, but we aren't any better today either. Get real.

    By Freebies are you referring to the free subsidies that are given to all of our oil companies for exploration that they complained about losing when the issue came up, you know the ones who make Billions of dollars each month in profits?? That's right you were talking about children who had no food to eat

    December 2, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. The Film Professor

    Uhhh, John, who won the election here? Who won it on the platform that taxes must go up on the wealthy? Yet you think that President Obama should come to you and negotiate?

    I hope Obama calls your bluff. Let the tax cuts for all expire. Dems will immediately propose a bill to reinstate the tax cuts for all but the top 2%. I dare you to stand in the way. If you do, watch for the rest of us to come to DC with our ptichforks - we will tar and feather you, before we run you out of town.

    December 2, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Dave

    John Boehner, you are a TERRIBLE choice for a leader. You're the one in charge of the body who writes legislation. There's no excuse for business not getting done. Period. This all falls on your inability to control your own party members.

    Shame on you, sir.

    December 2, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. z2cents

    I though boner was flabbergasted when President Obama won..he seems out of touch..

    December 2, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. AK_steve

    Thanks to the GOP – we're doomed!

    December 2, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    Funny how if all the numbers were the same, except Robme had won, then this election would have been a "mandate" against taxing the "job creators" and a mandate to repeal Obamacare.

    But the GOP is blind to the "mandate" to tax the "job creators" since the winner was named Barack Hussien Obama.

    December 2, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Newmalthus

    Well lets see. The "fiscal cliff" is 1.2 trillion in taxes and cuts
    the Obama plan to avoid it, which is 1.6 trillion in new taxes AND more stimulus spending on his political friends AND a blank check to raise the debt limit w/o congressional approval?


    December 2, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Sueb

    Cut the phony outrage, John. Get your republicans in order, extend the middle class tax cuts and then come to the table and negotiate in good faith.....that means fight all of your obstructionist republican instincts and think about this country; not your rich friends and definitely not Grover Norquist....this country!!!

    December 2, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Billy davis

    Boehner and the GOP insist on protecting the 2% to the detriment of the 98%. Majority rules and these idiots are afraid of Norquist and his threat to campaign against them...

    December 2, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. biglio

    Democrats need to compromise?!!!!
    Like republicans did the last legislature? in case bohener didn't realize it the GOP lost the election badly, you'll be flabbergasted when the next elections you will be wiped of the mp if YOU don't compromise......
    Like most Gopers, completely out of touch and in the pockets of the 1% ers.......the sooner we flabbergast those cancers out of office, the better.

    December 2, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. mommytwice

    I would like to hear how he explains the last 4 years of refusing to compromise on any subject, given that the president tried again and again to meet in the middle with these people. Maybe the days of compromise are over...maybe the GOP needs to sit down and shut up. The people spoke, and the GOP lost. If I were Obama, I'd do the same thing.

    December 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Widow

    The problem is where does Geithner is on this whole thing.. The stimulus didn't work before. Obama wants to spend like crazy again on non sustainable jobs that put a 3-6 month bandaid on the economy. Who in there right mind during a time when we need to reduce spending wants to spend more? He spent 6 trillion already and all I hear is negativity from the media on the republicans when it clearly takes two to tango. The democrats are being unreasonable trying to do anything they can to regain control of the house next election. The reason the republicans got voted in was because every major economist has said obama's spending spree his first two years did more harm than good. And if Obama was/is so smart why when he had full control of congress didn't he solve the economy? Why didn't he work with his democratic congress to pass a balanced budget when he had the chance instead of focusing on a healthcare bill that is nothing but a mandated tax? Obama is a great com man. The media loves it because it makes great news. They always have a big story to cover. Why do you think all but one news agency in fox supported Obama? Fox gets ratings for being crazy. It is almost like comedy. At the same time the liberal media is in no way fair. Obama has been a disaster. If he wants to soo good for the nation he should have serious talks with the house. Even his own party says he is difficult to work with.

    December 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. penguin

    The "fiscal cliff" is a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. To avert the so-called cliff we are going to institute a different set of tax increases and spending cuts. So no matter what, we will be going over a "fiscall cliff." So all this haggling is about which cliff we go over

    December 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Sueb

    "The Bush tax cuts are responsible for the majority of the debt problem"

    Not true, it was the tax cuts in addition to two wars that Bush "forgot" to add to the budget.

    December 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Another former republican

    4 years ago the Republicans said it was all about Jobs?
    Now its all about preserving tax breaks?

    What did the Republicans produce in the last years? a new catch phrase called, "the Fiscal Cliff"

    December 2, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Just sayin

    Actually the White House doesn't have to compromise with the GOP because 1) he won and they lost 2) the WH gets most of what it wants by going over the cliff 3) the GOP will get the blame for going over the cliff and 4) he a lot.

    December 2, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. sally

    The American people have spoken. They won't higher taxes for the rich. It's time they pay their fair share!

    December 2, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Joe Chelan

    No surprise if republican is flabbergasted by anything, since they always thing will happen according to their fantasy, not reality, even facts and events are clearly presented to them for a long long time....their brain just can not process sad.

    December 2, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. 200 TON HAMMER

    standy by republicans if you hold out longer

    December 2, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. charles bowen

    Wow is Boehner 51 cards short of a full deck....Republicans Lost the Election because of their Obstructionist Politics and now this clown is out to destroy the whole Republican Party, The Recovering Economy, The System Safety Nets, The Lives of His Constituants, Being a Good Leader dose'nt take balls it takes brains a commodity the Republicans Sorly lack.......Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    December 2, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. NameFrank Deery

    The problem is: we still have an inept, 70's-raised President in the White House-when he is Not campaigning. So far, and even After Nov 6, he still clings to that mode! In Penn or delegating critical issues to flunkies, like Geitner, Obama ignores his leadership role-unless his ass is on the line. Not anymore, so why is he Absent???

    Our dive into fiscal chaos is his hope. He can blame Republicsns, then push his Euro-zone
    socialism as a safety net. Well, Europe is a
    mess! Our future, but is Obama watching the ides of Euro-zone? No! Preening around, not
    leading, and, well, he cannot. All about his comfort zone-and of those who support it, so they don't have to excell.

    December 2, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  25. Ancient Texan

    The" li'l dictator" is going to have his way even if the country ceases to exist; it has to be his or not at all. His ego is demanding that he has to be able to say, "I WON".

    December 2, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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