The "affluent" are not the only ones who caused the issues we have now. Many people from all financial levels bought over-priced (for their income) homes with too good to be true mortgage options. The foreclosure rates are skyrocketing, but not just for the affluent. I somewhat blame the Realtors and mortgage lenders who were looking at fast profits instead of long term effects. Many home buyers are overwhelmed by the contracts and just jump in. I don't approve of that, but that is the case in many of these foreclosures. They trusted the experts who were looking out after their own best interests. I still live by the saying "buyer beware", though.
I'm happy with my 5.25% interest rate, 15 year fixed loan for my property/home that is currently appraised $130,000 more than when I purchased it in 2001. I'm in Houston, where the crazy increases did not occur, so we are currently not feeling the impact like California, Arizona, and Florida.
I admire people who work hard, make smart decisions and make their own success. I do not see any reason to burden the "affluent" just because they have more money than the rest of us. It's way too socialist a thought process.
I do believe we should help one another, but not in an enabling fashion. Success can be taught, laziness is forever.
I don't believe that financially successful people owe a duty to pay for those who, for whatever reason, are unhappy with their income and living conditions. Opportunity is out there for all of us, don't wait with your hand out, do something for yourself. In the long run you will feel better.
This story demonstrates sound reason why the $700Billion bailout should be paid solely by the "affluent" through a enactment of tax increase laws whereby America's "affluent" return to the Kennedy-era tax rate of 70%.