The US economy as we know it has collapsed. This has happened before, twice, and history is repeating itself again. This is the Third Depression the United States has suffered, and it will be the worst.
In the Gilded Age of the 1890's, and the Roaring Twenties, improvements in technology and industry fueled rapid economic expansions. Capitalism was revered as the new engine of progress, onerous government regulations were seen as an impediment to growth. These were the days of "laissez faire" economics and unscrupulous Robber Barons.
After each of these economic crises, there was a backlash against the excesses of capitalism.
Incoming President Teddy Roosevelt was forced to borrow money from wealthy elites to finance the government. Yet he did not become a tool of the financiers. He earned the nickname "trustbuster" for reining in monopolies, and passed the first income tax into law.
In 1936, at the bottom of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt raised the top income tax rate to 79 percent. He made the oligarchs howl, and financed the New Deal that lifted millions of Americans out of poverty. Incidentally, the US economy grew by a record 14 percent that year, and the following year FDR balanced the federal budget.
Unfortunately for us, Obama is no Roosevelt.