President Barack Obama and Democrats are "poorly schooled" when it comes to economics, and they don't have a plan to fix the "fiscal cliff," said former House Majority Leader Dick Armey who's largely credited with organizing the Tea Party.
"They have a mantra, but they don't have a plan," the Texas Republican told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday.
Last week, the White House made its opening proposal, which includes $1.6 trillion in higher taxes from upper income earners over 10 years, a possible extension of the temporary Social Security payroll tax cut, authority to raise the national debt limit, new stimulus spending and $400 billion in spending cuts.
Republicans dismissed the offer as laughable.
"If you're going to have growth in the private sector, you've got to be able to have investment by risk-takers," said Armey. "These are exactly the people that Democrats think are undeserving people that should have their money taken away so you can build government." Armey did acknowledge that both parties over the years have contributed to bigger government.
The frustration over the fiscal cliff impasse also played out on the Sunday talk shows.
"[Republicans] have to tell us what makes sense to them, and then we can take a look at it," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "But what we can't do is try to figure out what makes sense for them."
Republican leaders have said they're willing to accept a package with higher revenue as a component, but not by raising tax rates on wealthier Americans. The GOP wants to do it by closing loopholes and limiting deductions, but only on the condition that any deal also include measures to reign in the growth of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
"There are a lot of items on the table." House Speaker John Boehner told "Fox News Sunday." "The president knows what they are. The question is what are they willing to do?"
So with talks going nowhere fast and just 28 days until the fiscal cliff, Republican leaders and Obama will be meeting with the nation's governors this week.
The president speaks to the National Governors Association on Tuesday. The Hill reports that Obama will sit down with Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Besides some governor meetings of their own, GOP leaders will also get together this week with small business owners to get their take.
Top business leaders were at the White House and on Capitol Hill last week to offer their opinions on how to come to a resolution, and what's at stake for the economy if a deal is not reached by year-end to avoid the mandatory tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect.
Many economists worry that going over the fiscal cliff could send the U.S. back into recession.