From Pew Research comes the reason it is so difficult to gain any real reductions in federal entitlement spending — more than half the country has gotten a federal check.

As President Barack Obama negotiates with Republicans in Congress over federal entitlement spending, a new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that a majority of Americans (55%) have received government benefits from at least one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs.

The survey also finds that most Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program at some point in their lives. So have nearly equal shares of self-identifying conservatives (57%), liberals (53%) and moderates (53%).

Clearly, we are now an entitlement nation. And as long as we are an entitlement nation, we will continue to head into the fiscal abyss.