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As if the staggering numbers that are in President Obama’s budget weren’t enough, take a look at what’s not there:

“Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — Look through President Barack Obama’s proposed 2011 budget and you’ll see a line calling for a $235 million increase in the Justice Department’s funding to fight financial fraud. Lucky for them, the people who wrote the budget can’t be prosecuted for cooking the government’s books.

They are keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac off the government’s balance sheet and out of the federal budget, along with their $1.6 trillion of corporate debt and $4.7 trillion of mortgage obligations...Fannie and Freddie aren’t merely wards of the state. Practically speaking, they are the entire U.S. housing market. Their liabilities are the government’s liabilities.

White House budget director Peter Orszag on September 9, 2008, two days after Fannie and Freddie were seized, when he was director of the Congressional Budget Office:

“The degree of control exercised by the federal government over these entities is so strong that the best treatment is to incorporate them into the federal budget.”

That control is stronger today. Congress and the Treasury have given the companies a blank check to blow through whatever taxpayer money is necessary to keep the U.S. housing market afloat. Anyone buying large quantities of U.S. government bonds knows these liabilities exist. So why pretend they don’t?”

A good question for those who promised openness and transparency.

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