I used the very contrary policy
First, an over investment in the economy, to completely boost it. That means any technology development can be great (getting rid of the backwater), as well as different grants for businesses. All in all spending much more money than I have to boost the economy. As the debt ceiling is a bit far off, and as I am not investing on anything else at first, the deficit reverses to become quite a nice benefit.
And from when money does not become a problem, it becomes quite easy, it’s just a matter of massively investing in different services (hospital and education for example), reducing some costs in energy, cutting down a bit military while raising national help (costs less and has a bit of an impact on international trade and a bit less terrorism) and setting veteran funding (for the patriots who do not like the cut costs in military ). Etc etc etc
All in all, after 3 years this way, I started with a very low approval rating (0 as everybody, but I mean it didn’t rise much), but when elections arrived, I was in technological advance, I had been able to reduce taxes a bit a year before (no cynism and I had not raised it before), the economy was in recession but I had a profit of 10B per quarter and a positive (no debt) treasury of 50B around. And all red problems were solved (appart asthma but that was near).
So when the debt allows it (here it is barely but still manageable), my big advice is to drop the problems and start by building an economy that deserves its name. Then you can make people happy, and they’ll not even be too mad at you for having made you wait. Though in my system capitalists and motorists hate me. And patriot don’t like me too much, of course.