Pouring salt on the wound

As if most American 401ks hadn’t already taken a serious blow:

Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts — including 401(k)s and IRAs — and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration. Triggered by the financial crisis the past two months, the hearings reportedly were meant to stem losses incurred by many workers and retirees whose 401(k) and IRA balances have been shrinking rapidly.

I’m sort of curious. Should this be taken as an indication that these Democrats never previously consider the possibility that the stock markets – or even the stocks held in any specific 401k plan – might go down? I doubt it. Most likely, they’re merely being opportunistic. Although, as pessimistic as I am about stocks, one of the few things I’d actually value less is the vague promise of a future stipend from the federal government.