The US is an oligarchy and has been since its inception. That means that a small group of wealthy people actually ran the government. There have been exceptions and events that ran out of their control, but in the end, the oligarchy got is way most of the time.
Who are they? Here is a brief list of many of them:
- The Prison Industrial Complex - they now receive $380 billion of income each year from federal, state and local governments in the US. The own the police unions (in that they control their goals and operations not necessarily direct ownership).
- The Tobacco Industry - no other industry kills 500,000 of its fellow Americans each year and gets away with it.