Michelle Singletary writes a personal financial column for the Washington Post called "The Color of Money". Generally, it is a pretty good source of common sense financial advice for folks not in the stock options and buyout world. Today's column is off the mark though.
Basically, the column is a discussion of the merits of a plan put forward by left-leaning Center for American Progress and the Pension Rights Center, which advocates elimination of the option to borrow money from oneself within a 401K. This is yet another instance of the classic approach of the left to many social issues, and it is that the people of the US are not to be trusted with their own money. You see this played out in the whole issue of privatizing a portion of social security benefits. The rhetoric of the left comes down to one thing, and that is that the government has to protect people against their own bad decisions.
I don't buy this. If you build up wealth in a 401K, it is no different than any other asset. If you need cash for some other reason, it makes perfect sense to borrow against a 401K--as long as you pay the loan back. If you don't, you suffer the consequences...as it should be.