The thing of it is that the public’s belief that the federal government hasn’t been stepping in to help them out is simply mistaken. For example, every single employed person in the United States of America received a tax cut as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Its hard for me to see how standard public choice theory gets you to a Federal Government that deliberately disguises what its doing to help the people. The only explanation that I can see is that the people in charge genuinely wanted to do what they thought was best for the country.
Its also hard to imagine that Congress, at least, is subject to all that much special interest pressure from the banks when they could barely pass legislation that was designed to prevent the collapse of the global economy and seem to have been relentlessly punished for having done so.