If one believes that AIG, as a company, deserved taxpayer money, then does it not follow that the people who run AIG deserve a measure of compensation commensurate with their talents? In business the leaders have to pay their people to keep those people.
This passion to deny that there were bonuses, and now that the bonuses have been paid, to specifically tax them and thereby punish the recipients, boggles my mind. The reality is that if the government want AIG to succeed, AIG must have the right employees. To get and maintain these people requires the right work environment. For AIG, part of that environment is that compensation takes the form of bonuses. AIG is not alone in this, other companies use bonuses that same exact way.
To see this another way, imagine that AIG simply denied all bonuses. What would their star employees do? Would the stars not just leave? What would happen to AIG then?