New Deal policy-makers and their progeny tried to pass the torch of reform to us. But, through a combination of apathy and plutocracy, we have dropped that torch. We have, instead, resisted criminal prosecution of white collar crime and, when fines are imposed, they are often a pittance next to the gargantuan profits made through such corporate malfeasance (See, e.g., "JPMorgan's $7 Billion In Penalty Payouts Dwarfed By Monstrous Profits"). Large financial institutions have become "too-big-to-fail"--a phenomenon where regulators and law enforcement are afraid to prosecute aggressively (if at all), for fear that such prosecution will have a negative effect on the economy. Corporate America and big financial institutions are also immunized, to some degree, by the massive campaign contributions they make to politicians. A politician is unlikely to push hard for the prosecution of the very people who are funding his/her reelection campaign (plutocracy and white collar crime strengthen one another).
On the other end of the spectrum, we have laid-off workers, homeless veterans, low-income workers, and the long-term unemployed. These Americans are too-small-to-help. This is why you hear politicians like Rand Paul, Herman Cain, and Paul Ryan talk about cutting off assistance to these folks, but you rarely, if ever, hear them talk about cracking down on accounting fraud, insider trading, or illegal tax evasion (the latter of which costs the United States about $300 billion in lost revenue...every single year).
Today, we are inundated with declarations from the political right that America is a Christian nation. But the failure of the political right to aggressively address white collar crime, while aggressively trying to dismantle our social safety net, makes those declarations impotent and farcical. The morality they display--in politics, and in their statements about the less fortunate--is not the morality I was taught in Sunday School (see, e.g., "The religious right is a fraud: Nothing Christian about Michele Bachmann’s values"). Furthermore, the political right's devotion to Ayn Rand, a woman who wanted to topple Christianity, makes their "America-is-a-Christian-nation" claim even more dubious. (I often wish America was a Christian nation; Christ's teachings about how to treat the poor, especially in the book of Matthew, are quite noble.)
Even some Republicans are starting to question the attitudes of their colleagues, highlighting how the GOP/Tea Party movement is becoming uncomfortably cruel for some of its own members. Republican Governor John Kasich (Ohio) said, "I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor. That if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy. You know what? The very people who complain ought to ask their grandparents if they worked at the W.P.A.” For this, and other acts of human compassion, Kasich earned (temporarily) a Tea Party threat to his governorship (see "Tea Party Leader Ted Stevenot To Challenge John Kasich In Republican Primary").
Welcome to the Reverse New Deal, where the rich & powerful are too-big-to-fail, and thus receive special treatment, and the poor & powerless are too-small-to-help, and thus receive scorn and punishment.