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FIRST ON CNBC: CNBC'S MARIA BARTIROMO SPEAKS WITH TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER TODAY, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH ON CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL WITH MARIA BARTIROMO"

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
CNBC.com
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

WHEN: TODAY, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH AT 4PM ET

WHERE: CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL WITH MARIA BARTIROMO"

Following is an unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about President Obama's Stimulus Plan today, Wednesday, September 8th on CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" at 4PM ET.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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MARIA BARTIROMO: JOINING ME NOW AND FIRST ON CNBC INTERVIEW TO BREAK DOWN THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSALS AND MESSAGE AND HOW BIG OF AN IMPACT THEY ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE, I'M PLEASED TO WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM TIMOTHY GEITHNER. ALWAYS NICE TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM. WELCOME.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: NICE TO BE HERE.

BARTIROMO: TELL ME WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING FROM THESE PROPOSALS? WHAT KIND OF JOB CREATION WOULD YOU ENVISION?

GEITHNER: WELL I THINK THEY CAN MAKE A VERY POWERFUL IMPACT. THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS IS FOR CONGRESS TO COME AND PASS THIS SET OF VERY IMPORTANT TAX BREAKS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES SO THEY CAN START TO HIRE PEOPLE BACK AGAIN AND ONCE AGAIN BE THE ENGINE OF JOB CREATION IN THIS COUNTRY. THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT THING CONGRESS CAN DO IS TO EXTEND THE TAX CUTS THAT GO TO MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS. SO THEY KNOW TODAY THEIR TAXES ARE NOT GOING TO GO UP. THOSE TWO THINGS THEMSELVES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS HE CAN DO RIGHT NOW, BUT AS YOU SAID AND AS YOU HIGHLIGHTED, YOU HEARD FROM THE PRESIDENT TODAY WE WANT TO WORK WITH CONGRESS TO PUT IN PLACE A SET OF ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE INVESTMENT NOT JUST IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND EQUIPMENT HERE TODAY AND START TO REBUILD AMERICA'S INFRASTRUCTURE. THOSE THINGS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO LONG-TERM GROWTH. BY REINFORCING INVESTMENT TODAY WE CAN HELP MAKE SURE WE ARE DIGGING OUT OF THIS HOLE MUCH MORE QUICKLY. WE PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK MORE QUICKLY THAN WE WOULD OTHERWISE BE ABLE TO DO.

BARTIROMO: MR. SECRETARY WHY NOW? A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT TAX BREAKS FOR SMALL BUSINESS FOR SOMETIME WHAT WAS IT THAT MOVED THE NEEDLE THIS TIME?

GEITHNER: WE HAVE BEEN PROPOSING TAX BASES FOR SMALL BUSINESS FOR A LONG TIME NOW. BEGINNING THIS YEAR, THE PRESIDENT PROPOSED A SERIES OF ACTIONS FOR RECOVERY INCLUDING A SET OF POWERFUL TAX CUTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, WAYS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS GET ACCESS TO CREDIT SO THEY PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. CONGRESS ACTED ON A NUMBER OF THOSE PROPOSALS TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND TO PROVIDE MORE MONEY SO THAT STATES CAN KEEP TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM AND A NEW JOBS TAX CREDIT SPONSORED BY SENATORS SCHUMER AND HATCH. BUT WE WANT CONGRESS TO GO BEYOND THAT PAST THE SMALL BUSINESS SET OF TAX BREAKS AND MAKE THESE MIDDLE CLASS CUTS PERMANENT SO THAT MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS HAVE CONFIDENCE ABOUT WHAT THE FUTURE WILL HOLD FOR THEM, BUT AGAIN THERE SOME ADDITIONAL THINGS WE CAN DO TO HELP REINFORCE RECOVERY. CAUSE ULTIMATELY, HOW FAST WE GROW AS A COUNTRY IS GOING TO DEPEND ON HOW STRONG THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS AND WE CAN DO MORE TO INCREASE THE INCENTIVES THEY HAVE TO INVEST TODAY.

BARTIROMO: SECRETARY, AS YOU KNOW, LEADER JOHN BOEHNER IS CALLING FOR A TWO-YEAR FREEZE FOR ALL U.S. TAX RATES INCLUDING THE BUSH TAX CUTS FOR ALL TAXPAYERS INCLUDING THE HIGHEST EARNERS. NOW AS WE HEARD, THE PRESIDENT SAID HE'S IN FAVOR OF FREEZING THE TAX, BUT ONLY FOR THE MIDDLE AND LOW INCOME. IF THE TAX EARNERS INCLUDE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS WHO UNDERSTANDABLY CREATE JOBS IS ALLOWING THE BUSH TAX CUTS TO EXPIRE ON THAT GROUP, DEALING A BLOW TO THE ADMINISTRATION'S JOB CREATION EFFORT. DO YOU WORRY THAT THOSE PEOPLE GET HIT NEGATIVELY?

GEITHNER: ABSOLUTELY NOT. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THAT ARGUMENT AND FOR THAT CONCERN. AGAIN THE MOST IMPORTANT THING CONGRESS CAN DO IS PROVIDE TAX BREAKS TO SMALL BUSINESSES TODAY AND TO PROVIDE CLARITY AND CONFIDENCE AND CERTAINTY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.THE TAX CUTS THAT GO TO 98% OF WORKING AMERICANS ARE GOING TO STAY WHERE THEY ARE TODAY. THOSE THINGS ARE POWERFUL IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO. NOW AGAIN, WE'D LIKE WASHINGTON TO COME TOGETHER WE'D LIKE TO SEE REPUBLICANS JOIN US IN SUPPORTING ADDITIONAL PROPOSALS AND THEY'VE SUPPORTED IN THE PAST TO ENCOURAGE INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES. AGAIN THOSE ARE SENSIBLE, THOSE GOOD POLICY FOR THE COUNTRY. NOW WHERE WE DISAGREE IS MANY REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS WANT TO EXTEND PERMANENTLY THE TAX CUTS THAT GO TO ONLY THE TOP 2% RICHEST AMERICANS IN THE COUNTRY. TO DO THAT REQUIRES US TO GO BORROW 700 BILLION DOLLARS FROM OUR CHILDREN, FROM INVESTORS AROUND THE WORLD AND THAT IS NOT A RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO. IF REPUBLICANS BELIEVE THAT THIS ECONOMY NEEDS MORE SUPPORT NOW, THE MOST EFFECTIVE THING WE CAN DO AGAIN BESIDES MAKING THESE TAX CUTS PERMANENT FOR MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS AND GIVING SMALL BUSINESSES ADDITIONAL BREAKS IS TO GIVE BUSINESSES GREATER INCENTIVES TO INVEST IN AMERICA TODAY AND START TO REBUILD AMERICA'S INFRASTRUCTURE

BARTIROMO: THAT'S ABSOLUTELY THE ISSUE ON EVERYBODY'S MIND, MR SECRETARY. THERE IS A REAL CONCERN ABOUT THAT DEFICIT. YOU HAVE THE PRESIDENT PROPOSING $300 BILLION IN CREDITS AND CUTS FOR BUSINESS. HOW MUCH OF AN URGENCY DO YOU PUT ON CUTTING INTO THE DEFICIT AND HOW MUCH OF AN URGENCY DO YOU PUT ON MAKING SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT STIMULUS OUT THERE TO ENSURE THAT WE DO SEE JOB CREATION.

GEITHNER: THAT IS THE KEY QUESTION. AND YOU PHRASED IT EXACTLY RIGHT. THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO NOW IS TO MAKE SURE WE ARE ACTING TO GET MORE AMERICANS BACK TO WORK TO STRENGTHEN GROWTH AND STRENGTHEN RECOVERY. THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. IT IS BY FAR AND AWAY THE MOST IMPORTANT TO DO TO GO BACK TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GO BACK TO LIVING WITHIN OUR MEANS AS A COUNTRY AND REPAIRING THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE RECESSION. BUT OF COURSE WE HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS, THESE ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES IN A WAY THAT IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T ADD TO OUR LONG-TERM DEFICITS AND WE ARE GOING TO WORK WITH CONGRESS TO MAKE SURE AGAIN WE ARE DOING IT IN A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE WAY.

BARTIROMO: SO DO YOU HAVE THE POLITICAL CAPITAL TO GET IT THROUGH CONGRESS?

GEITHNER: I THINK WE DO. AGAIN, THESE ARE IDEAS THAT HAVE VERY BROAD SUPPORT WITH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS A LOT OF SUPPORT AMONG REPUBLICANS AND VERY SUPPORTIVE WITHIN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. I THINK WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET THEM DONE. AND I THINK TO DO THEM IF WE WERE ABLE TO DO THESE THINGS OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS I THINK THAT WOULD HELP CONFIDENCE. CAUSE AGAIN, AMERICAN COULD SEE WASHINGTON COMING TOGETHER AND ACTING TO DO SMART SENSIBLE THINGS THAT COULD HELP SPARK, HELP REINFORCE PRIVATE INVESTMENT SO WE GET MORE AMERICANS BACK TO WORK.

BARTIROMO: LET ME GET YOUR TAKE ON THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS BECAUSE OF COURSE THESE ARE PLANS THAT PEOPLE CAN GET THEIR ARMS AROUND AND UNDERSTAND HOW THE JOBS ARE CREATED AND PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK EVEN IF THEY ARE LONG-TERM PLANS FOR A 10 OR 20-YEAR PROJECTS. WHEN CONGRESS PASSED THE 787 BILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS PACKAGE, INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS LIKE THE ROADS AND THE BRIDGES WERE ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS. YESTERDAY THE PRESIDENT SPOKE ABOUT ANOTHER $50 BILLION PUT TOWARDS INFRASTRUCTURE. WHERE DID THE MONEY GO IN THE STIMULUS PACKAGE THAT WAS EARMARKED TOWARDS INFRASTRUCTURE AND ARE WE AS TAXPAYERS GETTING OUR MONEY'S WORTH NOW PUTTING EVEN MORE MONEY TOWARDS THE SAME PROJECT THAT WE THOUGHT WAS HAPPENING SIX OR EIGHT MONTHS AGO?

GEITHNER: MARIA YOU START IN THE RIGHT PLACE. ANY AMERICAN WHO TRAVELED ACROSS THIS COUNTRY RECOGNIZES THAT WE ARE SUFFERING FROM PERIOD OF UNDER INVESTMENT IN OUR BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE. NOW, IMPROVING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE AND IMPROVING ROADS AND PUTTING IN PLACE BETTER RAIL SYSTEMS AND BETTER AIRPORTS IS VERY GOOD FOR LONG-TERM GROWTH. VERY GOOD FOR PRIVATE BUSINESSES AND IT'S CRITICAL TO MAKING THIS COUNTRY STRONGER AND GROW FASTER, VERY STRONG RETURN ON THOSE INVESTMENTS. YOU ARE RIGHT TO SAY THAT THE RECOVERY ACT HAD A SUBSTANTIAL PACKAGE OF INVESTMENTS AND A LOT IS IN THE PIPELINE. BUT THIS IS A LONG-TERM NEED. WE ARE NOT GOING TO CATCH UP IN A FEW MONTHS OR YEARS. WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS PROPOSING IS ACCELERATE SOME FUTURE INVESTMENTS TO ADD TO THE PIPELINE OF FUTURE COMMITMENTS SO WE ARE DOING MORE SOONER TO STRENGTHEN INFRASTRUCTURE AND IMPROVE THE LONG-TERM GROWTH PROSPECTS AND GET AMERICANS BACK TO WORK MORE QUICKLY.

BARTIROMO: I GUESS THE AVERAGE GUY WANTS TO KNOW WHY IT'S TAKING SO LONG. WHY IS IT THAT WE REMAIN WATCHING UNEMPLOYMENT KISS UP AGAINST 10%. OBVIOUSLY SOME PEOPLE WOULD SAY 16%. HOW COME WE ARE NOT SEEING THE MOMENTUM THAT ONE WOULD EXPECT AT THIS MOMENT IN THE CYCLE? A RECOVERY?

GEITHNER: THIS WAS A TERRIBLY SAVAGE RECESSION. AND BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE SO SCARED ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF FINANCIAL CRISIS, THEY CUT SAVAGELY INTO PAYROLL AND EMPLOYMENT. YOU SAW THOUSANDS OF COMPANIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY NOT JUST SHUT THEIR DOORS, BUT THOSE THAT WERE ABLE TO STAY OPEN AND CUT EMPLOYMENT DEEPLY CUT INVESTMENTS SPENDING BECAUSE OF THE DEEP FEAR AND LOSS OF CONFIDENCE THAT WORKED ACROSS AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN THE LAST PART OF 2008. WE ARE STILL LIVING WITH THE SCARS AND THE DAMAGE OF THAT BASIC CRISIS. RECOVERIES THAT FOLLOW FINANCIAL CRISES BY DEFINITION ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE HARDER AND FACE GREATER HEAD WINDS AND TAKE LONGER. IT IS GOING TO TAKE US A WHILE TO DIG OUT OF THIS. BUT WE'VE NOW BEEN GROWING FOR MORE THAN A YEAR WE HAVE SEEN MORE THAN THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION PRIVATE SECTOR JOB GROWTH, JOBS COME BACK. THAT'S A GOOD BEGINNING. WE ARE SEEING PARTS OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY THAT ARE LOOKING STRONG IN HIGH TECH COMPANIES AND THE BIG GLOBAL COMPANIES UNITED STATES THAT EXPORT TO THE REST OF THE WORLD AMERICANS ARE INNOVATIVE, VERY PRODUCTIVE, GOOD AT DOING THE THINGS, PRODUCING THE THINGS THAT THE WORLD NEEDS. THOSE ARE ENCOURAGING SIGNS, BUT IT'S STILL VERY TOUGH OUT THERE. IT'S GOING TO TAKE A WHILE TO HEAL THE DAMAGE. WHAT THE OBLIGATION IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK IN WASHINGTON IS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE WORKING EVERY DAY AS THE PRESIDENT IS TO FIND WAYS TO PROVIDE MORE SUPPORT AND STRENGTHEN THE RECOVERY AND ONE OF THE BEST WAYS WE CAN DO THAT IS TO HELP PROVIDE SUPPORT TO BUSINESS INVESTMENTS SO THAT BUSINESSES OF AMERICA ARE PUTTING MORE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK QUICKLY.

BARTIROMO: IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO OFFSET THE EIGHT MILLION JOBS THAT WERE LOST DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS, YES?

GEITHNER: IT WILL TAKE TIME TO DO IT AND THE REASON WHY WE ARE LIVING WITH UNACCEPTABLY HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT IS BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE RECESSION. WE ARE COMING OUT OF THIS AND DIGGING OUT OF THIS HOLE AND COMING OUT NOT AS RAPIDLY AS WE NEED TO AND WANT TO MAKE SURE GROWTH IS STRONGER AND WITH GROWTH WE GET MORE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK MORE QUICKLY. BUT WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS WE ARE SEEING PRIVATE INVESTMENT COME BACK PRETTY STRONG AMERICANS ARE REBUILDING SAVINGS WHICH IS A VERY HEALTHY THING IT MAKES THE ECONOMY WEAKER AND MAKES THE ECONOMY STRONGER OVER THE LONG-TERM AND OUR JOB HERE IN WASHINGTON IS TO MAKE SURE WE PROVIDE SUPPORT TO THE ECONOMY.

BARTIROMO: LET ME ASK YOU THIS. YOU HAD TWO OF YOUR COLLEAGUES ANNOUNCE THEIR DEPARTURE, PETER ORSZAG, I'M SURE YOU SAW HIS OPED YESTERDAY ABOUT ABOUT EXTENDING THE TAX CUTS TO EVERYONE FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS. CHRISTINA ROMER ANNOUNCE HER DEPARTURE, RAHM EMANUEL WITH ONE FOOT OUT THE DOOR LIKELY BECAUSE HE WANTS THE JOB AS THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO. CAN YOU CATEGORICALLY SAY YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LEAVE THIS ADMINISTRATION BEFORE THE NEXT TWO YEARS?

GEITHNER: I AM GOING TO WORK IN THIS POSITION AS LONG AS THE PRESIDENT WANTS ME TO. IT IS A GREAT HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE FOR ALL OF US TO HELP THIS PRESIDENT HELP REPAIR THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE CRISIS. WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. AND AGAIN OUR JOB IS TO KEEP AT IT. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO AND MAKE SURE WE ARE COMING TO THE OFFICE AND HELPING THIS PRESIDENT FIND WAYS TO WORK WITH CONGRESS TO GET MORE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK.

BARTIROMO: IS IT FAIR TO SAY POLITICS IS DRIVING THIS DISCUSSION GIVEN THE FACT THAT MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE A MONTH AWAY

GEITHNER: I'M THE WRONG PERSON TO ASK ABOUT POLITICS MARIA. AGAIN, MY JOB IS TO HELP THE PRESIDENT FIGURE OUT WHAT IS SMART AND SENSIBLE AND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MAKE SURE WE REINFORCE THE RECOVERY GET MORE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK, ENCOURAGING PRIVATE INVESTMENT THOSE ARE THE THINGS WE ARE DOING. WE ARE TRYING TO I WANTED TO FOCUS ON MAKING THE ECONOMY STRONGER IN THE SHORT-TERM BUT STRONGER IN LONG-TERM AND THE THINGS YOU HEARD THE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCE TODAY THAT MEET THAT TEST, THEY ARE VERY GOOD POLICY THEY'VE HAD VERY BROAD SUPPORT IN THE PAST AND WE HOPE WE CAN GET THAT DONE.

BARTIROMO: WONDERFUL TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM. THANKS SO MUCH.

GEITHNER: NICE TO TALK TO YOU.

BARTIROMO: TIMOTHY GEITHNER JOINING US TODAY ON THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN.

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