David Stockman called Reaganomics a Trojan horse. The intent was not more jobs or a better economy but eliminating programs conservatives hated from FDR.
Franklin Roosevelt was a traitor to his class, conservatives thought, so they wanted to starve the beast of government by defunding it of tax revenues, which would make a social safety net unaffordable.
When you say government is the problem not the solution, is it any wonder that government becomes inefficient?
Reagan did a disservice to all government employees who try to do their jobs well. His ideology of government ineptitude became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today we suffer from this legacy and laissez-faire approach to economics that states all deregulation is good, tax cuts solve everything and selfishness is promoted to a virtue not a vice.
Why should corporations and businessmen get tax breaks to induce hiring of workers before the deed is done? Would it not be more prudent to reward a business with tax breaks after they have hired than to hope they will do the right thing and hire?
We have given $350 billion to banks with the purpose of them lending it and circulating it through the economy. The result is that it has allowed them to give bonuses, declare dividends and buy up other banks - all things not intended by the bailout last fall.
To stimulate an economy, you get $1.73 back in aggregate output for every dollar of food stamps offered. In comparison you receive about a $1.03 for every dollar in tax cuts - not the best bang for the buck as Paul Krugman would say.
If Christ were to offer an example of how we should behave, then social programs helping the poor would be good as he relates as you help the poorest you do it to me.