Life of Brian

Last Thursday, CNN’s Victor Blackwell asked Brian Deese, Joe Biden’s director of the National Economic Council, how American families could cope with surging gasoline prices. “This is about the future of the liberal world order,” Deese replied, “and we have to stand firm.” To borrow from Sir Bedevere, who is this who is so wise in the ways of economics? 

“Brian is among the most tested and accomplished public servants in the country,” says Biden, “a trusted voice I can count on to help us end the ongoing economic crisis, build a better economy that deals everybody in, and take on the existential threat of climate change in a way that creates good-paying American jobs.” Americans might wonder what tests and accomplishments the Delaware Democrat is talking about. 

Brian Christopher Deese was born in Belmont, Massachusetts in February 1978. His father, David Deese, is a Boston College political science professor who “researches the international and comparative politics of energy and climate policies worldwide.” 

Brian’s mother, Patricia Stanton, served as deputy commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and was assistant commissioner of waste prevention at the state Department of Environmental Protection. She is now senior vice president of policy and advocacy at Conservation Services Group, an energy efficiency company. Like Hank Williams, Jr., young Brian set out to follow the family tradition 

Patricia and David sent him to Middlebury College in Vermont, where the current tuition is $55,790, room and board is another $16,032, along with a “student activity fee” of $426. Brian earned an undergraduate degree in international politics and economics and hosted the radio show “Bedknobs and Beatniks,” a format of “music, news, discussion, and banter.” In 2002, Deese was named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship but was not selected. The upscale New Englander could still boast extensive connections.  

In 2002, Deese was co-author with Nancy Birdsall, John Williamson, Julian Mott, and Anne Leeming on Delivering on Debt Relief: From IMF Gold to a New Aid Architecture. This tome was published by the Peterson Institute, “an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to strengthening prosperity and human welfare in the global economy,” and was originally called the Institute for International Economics. 

Founder Pete Peterson served as an assistant to President Richard Nixon, who named him secretary of commerce. He later served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. 

For his part, Brian Deese served as a junior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a research assistant at the Center for Global Development, and a senior policy analyst for economic policy at the Center for American Progress. The Middlebury alum was “actively involved,” in the 2008 presidential election.  

Deese got into Yale Law School but left a few credits short of graduation to work for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign where he became her top economic staffer. When Clinton’s bid failed, Deese caught the eye of the composite character Barack Obama, who tapped him to tackle the ailing auto industry. For some observers, Deese was not the right tool for the job. 

“The wunderkind in charge of saving our auto industry is a 31-year-old with about as much experience as a summer intern,” noted Glenn Beck. “Despite having no formal business education, no business experience, and no auto industry experience, 31-year-old Brian Deese is now in charge of dismantling General Motors.” David Sanger of the New York Times also weighed in with, “Meet the 31-Year Old in Charge of Dismantling GM.”

The “not-quite” graduate of Yale Law School “had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.” Deese’s role, Sanger noted, “is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.” 

Deese described the task as “a little scary,” but for Beck, he was “more than a little scary” for the American people. In his 2013 confirmation hearing for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Deese claimed to have the people’s best interests in mind. 

“Our economy is growing,” Deese testified, and the president and Congress were “strengthening our nation’s long-term fiscal position.” Still, “there is a lot more work that we need to do together to reach what I believe is the ultimate goal of an economy that is providing opportunity and real stability for working families.” 

Brian Deese earned no degrees in science but the administration tapped him to help out with climate change. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama touted the “amazing” Brian Deese, who “engineered the Paris Agreement, the Aviation Agreement,” and “may have helped save the planet.” That year, the president assigned Deese to oversee the process leading to the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

In 2017, Deese became a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. From there it was on to BlackRock, where Deese headed the sustainable investing division, advising clients on meeting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Deese was reportedly bagging some $2.8 million a year, and building a net worth of $4 million. 

Obama National Security Advisor Tom Donilon serves as chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute. Donilon worked in the Carter White House, on the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter Mondale, and advised Joe Biden on his first presidential run in 1988. Those connections doubtless played a role in Biden’s selection of Brian Deese as director of the National Economic Council. 

In June 2021, Deese outlined his ideas for a “new industrial strategy,” an “activist government” approach including “targeted public investment, public procurement, climate resilience, and equity.” Deese contends that “markets on their own will not make investments in technologies and in infrastructure that benefit an entire industry,” and “these are not your typical market failures.” Those failures, “require a different role for government.” 

In Deese’s plan, “government also looks to pull forward the deployment and the dispersion of innovation, works with the private sector to overcome those barriers of information and communication that have stymied prior efforts.” And so on, in what Olson Johnson of “Blazing Saddles” might call “authentic statist gibberish.”

According to Deese, the Biden Administration will “prioritize racial and gender equity.” This will “avoid further geographic entrenchment and polarization and unlock more of our innovative capability.” This is “what it is going to take to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” And not to worry, people, because inflation is not a concern for Biden’s youthful NEC boss. 

“We’re looking at the implications of an economy that comes out of a policy-induced coma and comes roaring back,” Deese explained, “in part, because demand is so strong because of the success of the ongoing vaccination campaign.” As Spike Lee said of Michael Jordan, “it’s gotta be the shoes.” 

In his commencement address at Middlebury in May, Deese called the graduates “post-COVID pioneers” at an inflection point in history. “You can question assumptions that have been embedded in how we operate as a society for decades, even centuries. Take this moment to think forward to the ‘how’ of how you want to build connections and communities.” 

Middlebury touted Deese’s “broad experience in stimulating economic growth and job creation as well as identifying the economic opportunities that come from building a clean energy economy and combating the climate crisis.” What actual economic growth Deese might have stimulated, and what jobs the wealthy New Englander might have created, failed to emerge in any detail.

“Brian Deese is a highly accomplished and respected public servant who is known for his dedication to the environment,” according to Middlebury President Laurie Patton. “His practical approach, strong work ethic, and focus on the human element help him to tackle some of the incredibly tough issues that face our country.”  

One of those incredibly tough issues facing the country is the surging price of gasoline, but according to the amazing Deese, “this is about the future of the liberal world order and we have to stand firm.” Deese’s concern back in 2013 for “our nation” and “real stability for working families,” seems to have disappeared. The people have reason to believe it was never there in the first place. 

When Victor Blackwell asked about struggling families, Deese replied, “what I’d say to Americans across the country is you have a president, an administration that is going to do everything in its power to blunt those price increases and bring those prices down.”

Biden’s “tested and accomplished” public servant, is just another professional prevaricator. To his credit, the amazing Brian Deese did provide a rare moment of clarity about his boss. 

Joe Biden is the Pétain (rhymes with putain) of a leftist domestic junta and the globalist new world order now colonizing America. Moving forward from July 4, the people once again stand in need of independence.

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images