'This Week' Transcript: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

COLE: I just want to point out he called me a wonderful friend.

(LAUGHTER)

COLE: Actually, it really is.

Look this is a -- I actually do believe that we should take things where we agree with the president, and we do agree on this, and take them off the table one at a time. And this would actually I think strengthen our position in the course of negotiations. But (inaudible) where the president has not been very specific -- spending restraints, entitlement reforms. And it leaves us free to fight to keep rates constant and try to reach revenue in another way, which the speaker has talked about.

But at the end of the day, again, these rates hit every single American at the end of the month. It's not as if congress has to do something to keep that from happening. It actually does have to do something to prevent us from...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: I think this is politically very smart move. I mean, you know, 98 percent...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're helping him in his caucus right now, but go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: 98 percent of Americans then know that their taxes are not going to go up in January. Their payroll taxes might, but that their income taxes are not and that is huge. And the truth is, from what I'm hearing, the top 2 percent better start making financial plans.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, there's no question about that. But what's wrong with this proposal?

SENOR: Look, I think there are parts of this proposals that are, shall we say, reasonable, how about that, reasonable. But I think the bigger problem here is if the president is sticking to this position, at least for the time being that he outlined last week, it would be the equivalent of Republicans not putting forward something like Tom put forward. It would be the equivalent of Republicans saying we want the Ryan budget, we want marginal tax cuts across 20 percent across the board. I mean, some very extreme position. So it's hard to have sort of a reasonable response to what the president put forward this weekend.

I'll tell you, Steve, I think he has dug in, he spent more time on the phone this week from what I understand with Steve Israel, the chair of the Democrat's campaign arm, than he did with John Boehner. He's spending time meeting with people like Richard Trumka and MoveOn.org. You tell me what he's telling those hard left groups about his position and how he can walk back to something more reasonable that someone like Tom's is for given what he's saying to these hard left...

RATTNER: He also met with quite a number of business leaders, a lot of CEOs, a lot of Republicans this week. He's trying to do something different than he's done before which is take his message outside of the Beltway, outside of Capitol Hill and try to bring it to the people. And I'm totally in favor of that.

But look, in the negotiations a year and almost a half ago, Speaker Boehner was reportedly offered $800 billion of revenue. The president has asked for $1.6 trillion of revenue. There's a bid. There's an ask. If the Republicans want to get a deal done, let's sit down and try to find...

(CROSSTALK)

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