'This Week' Transcript: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

SENOR: But the reality is, in most of the congressional districts where Republicans are today they are -- a lot of them are more concerned about a primary challenge to the re-election than a general challenge to the reelection. So this Grover Norquist, you know, thing that's been put out there is a little bit of myth, you're talking about real politics on the ground in these congressional districts. A number of these members ran on strong, you know, fiscal responsible, pro-growth agendas. And it's about staying true to the agendas they ran on, it's not about Grover Norquist.

ROBERTS: But you can make a case that it's not fiscally responsible...


RATTNER: Look, I think it's going to be very hard for the Republicans at the end to resist some rate increases. It's very hard to argue why the top 2 percent of Americans shouldn't see some increase in their marginal....

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the president is simply not going to agree to something that doesn't include some kind of rate increase.

ROBERTS: That's basically, what Congressman Cole was saying.

RATTNER: Compromise involves compromise in both directions. I don't understand why the Republicans are so dug in on this. You're talking about a very small change in marginal rates. I've been in the working world around people making a lot of money for 30 years. I don't see their behavior changing much whether the tax rate is 35 percent or 37 percent and hence Republicans are fighting the wrong fight.

ELLISON: People are paid off of dividend income I mean, and not just payroll.

SENOR: I think it's not about -- the rich people, you're right, are not affected, it's a lot of businesses and small businesses whose tax...


SENOR: I'm about agree with you on one point, which is I do think the Republican leadership at some point here needs to put forward publicly its plan. I mean, that is something that -- it's sort of an awkward negotiation. I do think the president has gone way too far out on the left.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But isn't that what McConnell started to do with the Wall Street Journal on Saturday?

SENOR: I think you're seeing the beginning of it, but I think it's still (inaudible) pieces of....


COLE: To be fair to Leader McConnell he's always been very forthright. Look, entitlement reform takes both sides coming together and jumping out -- and then it's not an issue in the next election, because they both did it.

And I think he very much...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to move on, but let me quickly go just around the table, does this get done before January 1st or not?

COLE: Yes.

ELLISON: Probably.

ROBERTS: If they say so, I believe it.


SENOR: Probably.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wow, I'm going to be the only no. We'll see what happens.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's move on -- at least for a few days -- we'll see. Let's move on to Susan Rice right now. You saw last week on this show, Lindsey Graham, and on other shows, other Republicans start to suggest that they were more open to the idea at least that she might be secretary of state. But then she went up to Capitol Hill this weekend, and listen to the senators after the meetings with the U.N. Ambassador Rice.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, R-MAINE: I continue to be troubled by the fact that the U.N. ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role.

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