Like yourself I lived it too. Let’s drop the R vs D thing .. it has no credence in a conversation of economics. While there are differences between the parties much of what has happened is poorly understood because economics are interpreted to be politics instead of economic policy.
I do not have time for a lengthy response but one thing I would like for you to try to understand is how money is created. It is NOT just a function of walking out to a printing press and deciding to run it on an overtime shift.
Money is debt .. money is created from debt. This will not be too easy to understand. I know, it took me a while to grab onto the concept. Here is a video that will help ..
There are numerous explanations of the concept of money creation is a fiat based monetary system but this is a good place to start.
Once you see this a few times you will come to realize that a large amount of our national debt is the result of Treasury sales. The US is kind of unique in that our currency is not just used to fuel our economy .. it’s also a worldwide marketable commodity in and of itself.
Thus when we had the crash in 2008 and the Fed practically gave (exchanged money for “assets” that the banks had on the books) the Wall Street banks at a half percent in order to recapitalize the banks, and the banks turned around and invested that money into Treasury Notes (at about 2.5–3% guaranteed return) and that created debt in our economy. Outstanding Treasury Notes show up on the debt side of the ledger.
As more investors worldwide started buying up more Treasuries more future debt was created. Due the safety of the US Government and it’s Treasury Notes they are and were considered the safe haven for money. As Treasuries are sold they increase the debt.
Much of the Reagan Revolution was attributed to issues outside of political government’s control .. namely the Fed reducing interest rates from the all time high of 18% (bought my first house at 18% BTW). This was due to the misunderstood efforts at trying to “whip inflation now” program, began under Gerald Ford. Once the Fed started reducing interest rates the economy flourished.
As for the Trickle Down Taxation policies Reagan enacted, everyone in economics agrees that it just created debt without being the stimulus that Trickle Down promises to be. It pumped tons of money into the upper classes which did not invest it for creating jobs and risky investments. It did inflate the stock market though, and that is seen as an increase in investment dollars, most of which went to investing in offshore manufacturing, not investments in the US economy.
While that was going on social safety nets were being cut, infrastructure was not being maintained, state and local economies had to find resources to replace the Federal funds they used to get, etc. Trickle Down Taxation has gutted the US from the inside out because it has put us on a path of cost cutting as a solution to the debt that was being racked up via these huge tax cuts.
Anyway, I could go on and on but no time to do so .. just try to get a handle on how money is created in the US Government. As I said before it might be difficult at first exposure, but it is well worth understanding.
After that you might look into the concept of money velocity and it’s importance for the Main Street economy. With time and effort you will come to realize that to stimulate an economy to put money where it will increase velocity the most, which is the exact opposite of what Trickle Down Taxation does.