In other words, the Bush tax cuts helped the upper middle-class but didn't affect the 1%'ers at all.
So we live in a new era and new reality of deregulation - including deregulation of personal finance. You have your legal marijuana and your gay marriage, but you also have your payday loans and buy-here, pay here used cars. If you are a Libertarian, this is heaven (and again, I still wonder exactly what is their beef with the USA - we are already a go fuck yourself economy as it is!).
We have more rights today, less regulation, business is unfettered, taxes are lowered. But with rights comes responsibilities, and in this instance, the "right" to get a payday loan should be balanced by the financial acumen to realize it is a shitty deal. Ditto for the lease agreement, 7-year car loan, 20-year RV or boat loan, "liar's loan" home mortgage, IPO stock sale, gold hyped by Glen Beck, and sketchy things like Bitcoin. In a free-for-all economy, you have to look out for your own interests.
But here's where it gets weird. In this blog, I say revolutionary and offensive things, such as, "a lease agreement is a shitty deal" or "only losers do odious things like get their grandma to co-sign a car loan for them" and so forth and so on. In other words, rational financial thinking. And this is shouted down, not by the banks or the 1%'ers who profit from these shitty deals, but by the average consumer who is convinced these are great deals - after all, they were advertised on television, right?
Again, this is how the middle-class is slipping down the economic ladder. They are abused financially by the upper classes, and in an apparent case of Stockholm Syndrome, they identify with their abusers! Cut the taxes of the very wealthy! Eliminate what few regulations we have left! It will all trickle down on us, eventually, just as an S&M slave gets "trickled down" upon in his master's dungeon.
This is something we've done willingly, too. And maybe it is because most people have low-self-esteem and can't understand why they have what little wealth they already have, and maybe have a nagging feeling in the back of their head they don't deserve better, but instead need to be punished. Maybe. It's a theory. The human mind is weird.
Long story short, though, none of this is likely to change anytime soon, particularly given the current administration. What little relief we get from the consumer protection agency will be wiped out in a matter of a year or so. We will be back to an "I've got mine, Jack, you get yours" economy and more than ever before, we have to look out for ourselves.
And the easiest way to do this is to stop giving your money to rich people and then wondering why they have all the money and you have none.