Last time we saw Romney and Ryan speaking on the same stage, it was back in November – when the hope for a new direction was right within our grasp. Whether we liked Romney or not, we held our breath and thought, “If we can just get the king of the White House, maybe – just maybe – we will have a chance to see some of America’s old values restored.”

What we saw was a successful businessman and a brilliant numbers guy. A conservative team that surely could have set us on the right path – at least economically. It didn’t happen. With each day and each new absurdly controlling piece of legislation that is passed we see our fundamental American vision becoming more and more distorted. So, what did these two have to say about the current issues in our government?

Paul Ryan – The Numbers Guy

Paul Ryan entered the stage at CPAC to the sound of eager claps and heartfelt woos.

Ryan said, “A budget is more than a list of numbers; it’s an expression of our governing philosophy.”

How we spend our money sends a message about who we are. Ryan said that the way the left handles money tells the world that they are “the party of shared hardship.” WE, the conservatives are the true “party of equal opportunity.”

With Paul Ryan’s budget plan, he says we’d balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes.

“How do we do it?” said Ryan, “We stop spending money we don’t have…go figure!”

He went on to talk about the message that the left is sending to the American people by their joke of a budget plan. He said, “The government is sending us a message. It is saying, ‘If you plan ahead, if you make sacrifices for your kids, if you save…you’re a sucker.”

It’s true. A bright-eyed 18 year old graduating high school may be thrilled at the opportunities that the Obama administration offers…free college…food…housing…cell phone. Who doesn’t love free stuff? But, all this free stuff that America is racking up is putting our nation farther and farther in the hole and is developing a whole generation – our very future – of people who don’t know how to work for what they have.

If you owned a business and you were hiring, would you really want to hire someone who was accustomed to having had everything handed to them for their whole life? Or would you hire someone who worked hard to get where they are?

Washington’s lack of fiscal responsibility is obliterating work-ethic for this upcoming generation.

This entitlement mentality is creating a society of slugs and it will only get worse unless we, as a nation, start being responsible with our money – teaching our kids that you can’t just do what you please and have Daddy foot the bill forever.

Ryan said that our debt is a clear sign that our government is too BIG. We need a “leaner and more effective government.”

Now, the truth is under Paul’s plan – he takes the government growth from 5% to 3% and so the government spending is still growing. I favor libertarianism, so I think that its better to make government actually smaller, not just “less big.”

Romney Returns

Since Romney’s failed campaign, he’s laid low. He recently did an interview for Fox News, but this was his first time back out on a stage since November. Man, I love that guy. We have our differences, but you can tell that he’s just a solid guy. One of the first things he said was that its become popular in some Republican circles to be pessimistic about the future of America.

“I utterly reject pessimism,” he said.

His eyes twinkled as he said that rather than his campaign diminishing his optimism, it actually made him more optimistic than before because he got to know about the American people.

He talked about Joe after Shmoe, living out their own personal American dream. He was extremely humble and articulate and even people I know who definitely didn’t want him to be our next president admitted that he did a great job.

He urged us to keep fighting the fight – to take back our nation and the Senate so we can put conservative principles back in place. He challenged us to learn lessons from American success stories. He spoke of the 30 Republican Governors across the country who are winning elections and solving big problems.

He said, “We havent lost the country we love. We have not lost our way. Our nation is full of aspirations and new solutions.”

The take-away was definitely his conclusion, “I’m sorry I won’t be your president, but I will work shoulder to shoulder and fight along side you.”

Mitt is all class.

I walked into these sessions expecting to love their speeches and be disappointed that they weren’t in office, but Romney left me encouraged. All hope is not lost. I’m looking around right now, and there are 20somethings filling the lobby of the Gaylord Resort – sharp, young minds who stand for conservative values.

There are young libertarians who are working alongside Republicans to fight for smaller government. It’s really encouraging to see so many like-minded people of all ages gathered together and determined to soak in new knowledge to take with them on their mission to help fix this nation – full of brokenness.

The fight’s not over. We’re all in this together, so let’s keep pushing.