The Obama administration has answered the question “What should the government’s role be in mortgage lending?” with a questionnaire. Buried in the seven questions is this bland-sounding query: What is the role of the existing government-sponsored enterprises? Which is another way of asking: Should we try to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back from the dead? Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner had promised the end of Fannie and Freddie’s privileged status as shareholder-owned companies with the implied support of the US Treasury. But this question leaves the door open to government-sponsored enterprises. One columnist’s advice? Slam it shut now.