Stuck with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

A single, vague sentence about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in President Obama’s budget packs a weighty meaning: The two companies are likely to remain wards of the state for years. Even so, they—and their $3.9 trillion in liabilities—remained off the federal budget, despite the fact that the government lifted the $400 billion ceiling and now extends to the companies an unlimited credit line of federal money. So far, the companies have cost American taxpayers $112 billion.