Americans are angry about AIG, and they want the government to stop the bailed-out firm's executives from getting bonuses. But according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, they don't blame President Obama (or Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner) for the upsetting rewards.
Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) say AIG management is "most to blame for the fact that these bonuses were paid." Almost one in five (19%) finger Congress, while 8% blame Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and 7% say President Obama bears responsibility.
News articles in recent days have highlighted Geithner's role in the payouts. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that aides to the Treasury Secretary worked with AIG on the issue for months. And members of Congress have argued that the White House is at least partially to blame. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) told the press that the Treasury was to blame for allowing "excessive executive compensation." Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), asked about a loophole that allowed banks receiving bailout money to give bonuses, "This was a Senate -- I'm going to cut you off -- this was Senate/White House -- this is Senate-White House language."