It`s ironic that Obama gets elected with big plans to soak the rich at the very moment that the rich are suddenly much less soakable, but it`s not really a random fluke. After all, if the markets hadn`t collapsed, the margin would have been much closer, and Obama might even have lost.
In theory, it makes sense to squeeze the rich when the rich are riding high, and coddle them when they are down, but that`s hard for human beings to do. We root for winners and despise losers, so we usually spoil businessmen and financiers when they are going great guns and smack them around after they stumble. (See "1920s-1930s, History of").
The success of Reagan`s 1981 tax cuts stemmed from reversing the usual timing and giving the business class a boost when they were down and feeling unloved and unmotivated. But that`s rare.