Ronald Reagan said that his tax cuts would reduce deficits, then presided over a near-tripling of federal debt. When Bill Clinton raised taxes on top incomes, conservatives predicted economic disaster; what actually followed was an economic boom and a remarkable swing from budget deficit to surplus. Then the Bush tax cuts came along, helping turn that surplus into a persistent deficit, even before the crash.The evidence suggests that Republicans don't care about the size of the economy. They care about income inequality. Unlike Democrats, Republicans favor more inequality.
That way, their wealthy friends can feel yet greater self-esteem than already oozes out of their pores.