'This Week' Transcript: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

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BARNES: Well, but this is what I think we have to do, is just focus on the facts. Over the past two years, the president has added 4 million jobs to the economy. We've seen quarter after quarter...

(CROSSTALK)

BARNES: ... after quarter of growth. The president has always been cautious about this in saying this is going to take some time, I started out losing 750,000 jobs a month when we walked into the White House of January in 2009, passed the stimulus bill to move the economy forward. We've seen job growth. He's got a comprehensive plan on energy, so that we are now producing at a greater rate...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: But it's not as bad as it could have been is not really a good campaign slogan.

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL: They need to make it a choice, not a referendum.

(UNKNOWN): Well, sure.

VANDEN HEUVEL: And two different visions. And one last thing I would say. I think this mortgage issue is underreported. Even the head of the IMF last week said that until this country deals with the mortgage write-downs, real write-downs, the global economy, the U.S. economy isn't going to recover effectively, which is why this tax -- this commission -- this task force needs resources, this Eric Snyderman (ph) headed task force, to deal with it.

GIGOT: They're trying to make an issue of it with fairness, but I don't think he's succeeding as well as they would like to because the irony is, if you're -- if you own stocks in this economy right now, you're doing OK, because the stock market has gone up. But real...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up until this week.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: ... 401(k) owns stocks.

GIGOT: But real disposal income for the middle class has gone down in January and February and has barely gone up over the last four years.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Nothing matters more in the election year than income growth in the first two quarters. One of the ways the administration is trying to make this tax fairness argument is by putting an awful lot of pressure on Governor Romney to release his tax returns. You saw the president -- even the president himself stepping into this on Friday. He said, should Governor Romney release his tax returns for 12 years? Here's his answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Absolutely. I think that it's important for any candidate for public office to be as transparent as possible, to let people know, you know, who we are, what we stand for, and, you know, I think that this is just carrying on a tradition that has existed throughout the modern presidency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Kevin, this issue seems to hobble the campaign a little bit. They had some trouble putting out the first returns earlier this year. Now they're putting off the release. How big a deal do you think this is? And should we expect to see those 12 years of tax returns?

MADDEN: Well, the protocol was that, when you become the nominee, you release the tax returns. President -- I'm sorry, Governor Romney has released the 2010 tax return. He's also released an estimate of his 2011 tax return. That's already on top of the exhaustive financial disclosure requirements that he has complied with for presidential candidates, thousands of documents talking about his investments and his financial situation.

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