A quick anecdotal observation:
I am in the mortgage business. Yesterday, I met with a 42-year old single mother. She is raising 2 teenagers in a crappy studio apartment in a crappy neighborhood.
She makes just over $25,000 a year. According to the government, she is officially in "poverty".
She does not have an X-box, plasma screen TV, or microwave oven.
She DOES have (and pays for) health insurance for her and her children.
She is a LEGAL immigrant from Mexico who entered our country legally, assimilated, learned English, and became a US citizen.
She drives a 1996 Toyota Corolla.
She has paid every bill on time and has perfect credit.
Somehow, she saved $8,000...$25 here, $50 there...
This weekend she bought a cute little foreclosed home for herself and her two children. Purchase price? $145,000.
The home was purchased by the previous owners for $409,000.
Update: Acorn thugs and Obama's housing plan would take away these opportunities in favor of people like this: