PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — They call it the “fiscal cliff” and our elected leaders seem determined to take us over it.

The “cliff” was created a year or so ago when Congress and the White House couldn’t agree on a way to cut the federal deficit.

READ MORE: Pittsburgh's Fireworks Task Force Uses ShotSpotter To Help Crackdown On Illegal Fireworks

The idea then was to create a scenario so damaging that everyone – Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party members – would be forced to work together to solve our country’s serious financial problems.

So far, it hasn’t worked.

Fiscal planning is easy when the economy is booming, when most people see their incomes rise every year and when more people enter the workforce than retire.

No one cares about funding formulas or waste.

The government leaders don’t care and neither do the voters who elect them.

Things are different now.

READ MORE: 2 Injured In Drive-By Shooting In Aliquippa

The bottom line is the government needs to spend less, bring in more money or both.

It sounds simple, but it’s not.

Doing it successfully requires serious thought, research, discussion and compromise.

That’s impossible when Republicans and Democrats keep pushing their own agendas to the exclusion of everything else.

Our country’s problems won’t be resolved unless our elected leaders work together.

But collaboration requires flexibility and open-mindedness, not traits we see in Washington these days.

This paralysis of leadership could send us all over the cliff and no one should consider that a “win.”

MORE NEWS: Former VA Doctor Who Admitted To Fondling Women Sentenced To Probation

Listen to the full editorial here: