Professor Wolff (the other Professor Wolff, the one who is an economist) explains it all in a nutshell right here in this amall preview of what will apparently be a movie All those Republicans voting to have taxes cut didn't realize it meant cutting business and very wealthy people's tax and shifting that burden over to the 99% of individuals so they got to pick up the tab that they used to share somewhat fairly.
For me it took getting into the history of the American West -- not the Vaseline-lensed Olde Pioneer stories but the real stuff -- to realize that we are and always have been a colonial country with a colonial mentality. Our economies and government are largely descended from the patterns set when North America was a patchwork of European resource-extraction colonies. Parts of this country -- Nevada, for example -- have never even made the transition out of colonial status. Those places that have transitioned, have flipped from colony to colonizer, as though a place had to be one or the other. So of course powerful Americans are always looking for new places and people to extract from. It's who we have been for four or five hundred years.