Greg Mankiw points out in a post titled "Trivial Pursuit":
The AIG bonuses now being debated in Congress and everywhere else represent about .001% of annual GDP. If a typical Congressman spent that fraction of a 2000 hour work year on the topic, it would consume only about 1 minute of his or her time.
Regardless of how outraged you are about the AIG bonuses, it is probably not an optimal allocation of resources for our elected leaders to spend large amounts of time and energy on the topic. The economy has bigger problems right now, and it would be better to focus attention on those.
MP: Here's another take. According to the NY Times, nearly $200 billion in taxpayer funds were pumped into AIG, which now plans to pay out $165 million in bonuses. The bonuses represent .0825% (about 1/12 of 1%) of the bailout amount, or $1 in bonus money is being paid out for every $1,272 of bailout money received by AIG.
Also in the NY Times article, "[Some] employees took salaries of $1 in exchange for receiving the bonuses, which were supposed to keep them from leaving A.I.G."