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the main audience of those the government is trying to attract really isn't the people who could pay cash for a home and still have assets to live off of.

It's not that hard to do, depending on the cost of the home. We've gotten there by not raising our standard if living in the past 20 years, banking the extra that came our way and staying with the cheaper cars rather than getting the BMWs, Mercedes and Lexus cars that so many of our peers drive. Our Hyundai Elantra does the job quite nicely, thanks.

Seems to me that there would be less people the gov't had to take care of if they rewarded people for being good stewards of their assets rather than encouraging frittering them away.

For all you know that guy was trying to buy a foreclosure. If he decided to walk away rather than pay up with cash that would have not been good for the housing or banking industry. The property we bought in pre-foreclosure for a vacation/retirement home failed to get a mortgage for many reasons. We paid cash too, but not before negotiating a 30% decrease in price. That worked in our favor, since it was the property that failed to qualify for a loan, making it necessary for the seller to wait for a cash buyer, which he could not do.

So clearly, we had enough assets to buy, but also had income to qualify. Are you going to means test gov't backed loans? You do realize that means those loans will be the worst of the worst when you eliminate those able to pay cash? I would suggest they means test other things like the ACA, (you can't believe the subsidies many early retirees qualify for with low income but high assets,) and social security/medicare before they worry about mortgages.

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