Economists have known since the beginning that unemployment insurance promotes unemployment. Even the liberal Krugman acknowledges this.
The attitude is, why work when you can get a reasonable amount of money for doing nothing? An article by Stossel sums it up with his take on French entitlements in America. This is why unemployment insurance should be limited to 3 months during boom periods and perhaps 6 months during recessions. Obama and friends are probably kicking themselves in the asses by continuing to extend these benefits because unemployment will remain high for a much longer time period, which makes them look bad.