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Next Up, California's Bailout: Firing LIne

In the next six months to a year, California will be in the same predicament as debt-strapped Greece.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The head of state announces a financial crisis after trying unsuccessfully to rein in spending. The massive unionized government workforce has threatened to strike, a move that would lead to certain financial ruin with catastrophic consequences for states in similar situations.

Is this a headline about Greece and the European Union? Nope.

I predict this will be the headline in six months to a year and you can replace California with Greece and the EU with the United States.

First, the train wreck in the EU. The quasi-bailout is under way, and Greece has just under a month to prove that it can get their house in order.

The EU, led by Germany and France, which have the most to lose, is demanding Greece cut at least 4% of GDP from its budget deficit. According to

The Wall Street Journal

, last year's budget shortfall was 13% of GDP and the "EU limit, which Greece has observed just once in the past decade, is 13%." Pause for laughter.

Of course, the first place the government can cut spending is in government. The bloated federal workforce would be the perfect place to start if it weren't unionized. Customs officials have threatened to strike in a move that would lead to a shutdown of commerce at the borders, ports, and airports. And tax officials have threatened to strike as well. No comment required.

Greece is just one problem child in a family of keepers known affectionately as PIIGS, or Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

But this story is about to be repeated on this side of the pond, and soon.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are our FICNN pigs: Florida, Illinois, California, New York, and New Jersey. These states are sister states to their EU counterparts and let us count the ways, using California as our example.

California has been hit by out-of-control spending without making much of an attempt to cut or balance the budget; it has a highly paid unionized workforce and a plan to spend more and tax the rich, all 144,000 of them, who are leaving the state in force, with Nevada as their favorite destination.

Actually, I think I know the actual plan that California will execute to get out of the financial mess. It's this: Arnold meet Barack, Barack meet Arnold. You guys have lots to talk about.

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California will implode without a federal bailout. It has shown over the years an inability to cut costs and balance a budget. During the boom years, it had no problem raking in tax revenue. But something happened on the way to the housing party: a bubble can burst and the rich are no longer as rich. Not to mention that there's a sovereign country to the south that wages a guerilla war daily on its southern border and drains resources from health care to crime fighting.

I want California, where I spent a good deal of my naval career, to succeed. I love the state and the people, but they couldn't elect a leader if their lives depended on it. And they might soon. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)? Arnold? He's a Republicrat on a good day. The last great leader to come out of the Golden State was Ronald Reagan.

But this isn't about politics. It's also about leadership and business. It fails to amaze me that we run our government as, well, a government and not a business.

As a business owner, I would've folded ages ago had I run my business like any of these "leaders." Deficit spending, out-of-control hiring when you don't have the revenue to support it, borrowing more money to spend money to get out of debt, hiring idiots to run critical departments, annoying your primary banker by starting a trade war and raising prices on your best customers to raise money. I could go on but you get the picture. My head hurts.

Firing line: These leaders need to run their governments as businesses with incentives to succeed and penalties to fail. I know it's physically impossible for them to do so since many of them haven't served a day in the business world and never had to worry about making payroll, but I can dream. At least start firing people that have no business being in a leadership position to begin with.

-- Written by Matthew Buckley in Boca Raton, Fla.

Matthew "Whiz" Buckley is the chief strategy officer of

Options University

, a provider of options education for options traders of all levels. He is also the managing partner of

Check6 LLC

, a business-consulting firm specializing in leadership development, risk management and strategic planning for Fortune 500 companies and related organizations. Buckley flew the F-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy. He's a graduate of TOPGUN, has close to 400 carrier landings and flew 44 combat sorties over Iraq. After leaving active duty, he worked as managing director of strategy at a Wall Street firm and CEO of a financial media company. He is an internationally recognized speaker and combined his experiences in the military and corporate America in his book "From Sea Level to C Level." Matthew "Whiz" Buckley is the chief strategy officer of

Options University

, a provider of options education for options traders of all levels. He is also the managing partner of

Check6 LLC

, a business-consulting firm specializing in leadership development, risk management and strategic planning for Fortune 500 companies and related organizations. Buckley flew the F-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy. He's a graduate of TOPGUN, has close to 400 carrier landings and flew 44 combat sorties over Iraq. After leaving active duty, he worked as managing director of strategy at a Wall Street firm and CEO of a financial media company. He is an internationally recognized speaker and combined his experiences in the military and corporate America in his book "From Sea Level to C Level."